The California Air Resources Board (CARB) launched an investigation into Anheuser Busch March 2015 and discovered that the St. Louis-based brewing company had failed to properly self-inspect 19 diesel trucks, as required by the Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP), to ensure they met state smoke emission standards. Anheuser Busch has now been fined $500,000 for violating California’s air pollution laws.
In addition, CARB staff discovered that Anheuser Busch was not in compliance with the State’s Truck and Bus Regulation because they failed to meet required compliance deadlines. The company’s fleet headquarters is in San Diego.
“No business large or small has the right to shirk responsibility when it comes to proper maintenance of the trucks it uses. California has some of the country’s poorest air quality and because of this, our laws are tough to protect public health,” said CARB Enforcement Division Chief Todd Sax. “All businesses must do their part to ensure their fleets are fully compliant with California’s anti-pollution regulations that are designed to clean our air and protect our children.”
Anheuser Busch agreed to pay the $500,000 fine and to comply with all applicable CARB programs. The company also agreed to instruct its vehicle operators to comply with California’s anti-idling regulations, ensure that staff responsible for compliance with smoke-inspection program attend training classes, and provide documentation to CARB that the smoke inspection requirements are being met for the next two years.
Of the total, $250,000 will go to the Air Pollution Control Fund to support air pollution research. The remaining $250,000 will go to the South LA Urban Greening and Community Forestry Project, where it will fund the planting of 300 trees over a five-year period in the public parkways of disadvantaged communities in South Los Angeles County. To facilitate the project, and to ensure community engagement and participation, California Greenworks will host 15 neighborhood outreach events and 10 South Los Angeles Community Forestry Workshops featuring certified arborists.
Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and more than 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.