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CARB Fines United Rentals for Emission Violations

The California Air Resources Board this month fined United Rentals $166,800 for diesel emissions violations that occurred throughout the state in 2007 and 2008.

An ARB investigation found emissions violations occurred throughout United Rentals’ California facilities in Sacramento, San Jose, Bakersfield, Fresno, Long Beach, Riverside, Oakland and San Francisco.

“Everyone should do their part to keep California’s air clean,” said ARB chairman Mary Nichols. “Meeting clean-air standards is a requirement for businesses throughout the state.”

The law requires annual smoke tests for diesel fleets and, in conjunction with ARB’s roadside smoke-inspection program, ensures that all vehicles are properly maintained, tamper-free and free from excessive smoke emissions.

United Rentals is required to:
• Guarantee employees responsible for conducting the inspections attend a California Community College training class on diesel emissions compliance testing and provide certificates of completion within one year;
• Provide documentation to ARB that the inspections are being carried out for the next four years;
• Ensure all of the company’s on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles have their software updated with the latest low-NOx (oxides of nitrogen emissions) programming;
• Instruct vehicle operators to comply with the state’s idling regulations for on- and off-road diesel-powered vehicles;
• Comply with all other applicable ARB regulations;
• Ensure that all diesel trucks are up to federal emissions standards for the vehicle model year and are properly labelled with the manufacturer’s emissions control engine-certification label.

United Rentals will pay $166,800 in penalties: $125,100 to the California Air Pollution Fund that provides money for projects and research to improve California’s air quality; $20,850 will go to the Peralta Community College District to fund emissions education classes conducted by participating California community colleges; and the remaining $20,850 will go to the California Pollution Control Financing Authority that guarantees loans to off-road vehicle fleets that need to buy exhaust retrofits to comply with state regulations.

Diesel particulate emissions are associated with causing a variety of health effects including premature death, and heart and lung diseases.

Based in Greenwich, Conn., United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.

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