BY JAMES BURGER Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
KS Industries, a Bakersfield-based construction and engineering firm, has been hit with a sizable fine for failing to upgrade the pollution controls on its vehicle fleet.
California Air Resources Board levied a $230,250 fine on the local company, a press release stated, "for failing to update its diesel trucks to clean up harmful emissions as required by state anti-pollution laws."
According to the Air Resources Board, the company was supposed to update diesel particulate filters on 1996 to 1999 model-year trucks by Jan. 1, 2012, and 2000 through 2004 mode- year trucks by Jan. 1, 2013.
KS Industries failed to meet those deadlines, CARB officials reported in the release.
A call to KS Industries was not returned Monday.
According to the press release from CARB, $172,688 of the fine will be used to fund "air pollution research" and the other $57,562 will fund a school bus retrofit program.
KS Industries will also, according to the release, be required to have its fleets meet state standards by Nov. 15, send staff to attend education courses, require drivers to comply with state rules on idling and make sure trucks also comply with federal emissions standards.
While the fine sounds steep, KS could have fared a lot worse.
The potential fine was $1,000 per day of the violation per vehicle, and 49 vehicles were involved here, according to CARB spokeswoman Melanie Turner. But the fine is what it is because KS is a first-time offender and cooperated with the investigation, she said.
The state discovered the violations during an audit of the company, Turner said.