Trucking operator Complete Logistics Company LLC will pay $2.38 million in penalties to the state of California for allegedly claiming false compliance with emissions regulations, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced in a press release on Tuesday.
The Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program, funded under California Proposition 1B, offers freight companies financial incentives to upgrade their equipment to cleaner technologies. To receive funding, companies must first meet state emissions standards. During an audit by the California Air Resources Board, it was determined that CLC wasn’t in compliance with emissions laws and improperly accepted $2.2 million in Proposition 1B funds, the attorney general’s office stated.
“Californians unfortunately still breathe the worst air in the nation, and heavy trucks contribute to that air pollution. Proposition 1B provides a vital program that helps to fight this pollution by incentivizing private trucking fleets to secure newer, cleaner trucks that benefit community health,’ Attorney General Bonta said in the press release. “In order for the program to work, companies need to play by the rules. Any company that bilks the state out of taxpayer dollars will swiftly be brought to justice.”
The alleged falsification of emissions compliance occurred while CLC’s owner was on leave because of health issues, and upon his return to the company in 2017, he terminated the responsible employees. In 2019, the company became compliant with emissions regulations, CARB reports in the press release.
The California Air Resources Board will receive 90 percent of the settlement funds and the California Department of Justice will receive 10 percent. According to the attorney general’s office, CARB previously received $650,000 from CLC for alleged violations of fleet emissions regulations.