Money from EPA fines on Virginia trucking company to help clean Valley air

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Diesel trucks are one of the leading causes of particulate air pollution in California, so, when a Virginia based trucking company revealed their trucks travelling through state were not all following California's air pollution requirements, the EPA took action. EPA.

Regional Director Jared Blumenfeld told a teleconference, "EPA's enforcement efforts are aimed at insuring all truck fleets in California are compliant with pollution laws. "

The company Estes trucking acknowledged filters designed to trap soot from diesel exhaust on 73 of its trucks were not working. The company agreed to some new and cleaner trucks and help get rid of another source of air pollution by helping residents of the San Joaquin Valley buy cleaner fireplace inserts and stoves.

Jaime Holt of the Valley Air District says despite years of restrictions, wood burning is a major polluter. "When we look at wintertime particulate pollution the big problem we deal with residential wood burning stoves, open hearth fire places and inserts are still one of the major problems that we battle."

The trucking company will pump about $300,000 into the fund that provides rebates of from $1,000 to $2500 for each clean burning stove purchased. Kevin O'Neill sells those cleaner burning appliances at the Energy House and says those rebates are a great incentive.

"It's huge, it helps people a lot it gets people motivated to go over the edge and do the right thing and go cleaner."

The EPA estimates one million semis are on California's highways and more than half are from out of state. It's estimated about 70,000 of those trucks are operating without proper soot filters. They say one unfiltered truck produces as much pollution as one hundred cars, so the crackdown on those trucks is escalating. null
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