Halliburton ordered to cut air pollution near schools
October 27, 2016
• Settlement valued at more than $400,000
• Diesel trucks violated California’s truck and bus regulation
Halliburton Energy Services Inc. has agreed to spend $180,600 on environmental projects to reduce air pollution at schools in the Los Angeles area, and $75,000 on air quality improvements in the San Joaquin Valley under a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.
The settlement, valued at $410,000, resolves government complaints about the company’s fleet of diesel trucks that violated California’s truck and bus regulation. Included in the total settlement is a $154,400 civil penalty.
Halliburton, headquartered in Houston, Texas, operated 61 heavy-duty diesel trucks in California from 2012 to 2014 without the required diesel particulate filters and failed to verify compliance with the Truck and Bus Regulation for its hired motor carriers.
Halliburton’s $75,000 payment to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District will enable schools to receive hourly, real-time data on poor air quality so that timely action can be taken to avoid student exposure to unhealthy outdoor air. The program will also raise awareness of the public health impacts from idling buses and automobiles near schools. Idling vehicles contribute to air pollution and emit air toxics that are known or suspected to cause cancer and other serious health effects.
Putting the $410,000 payment in perspective, Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) lost $671 million in 2015 on revenue of more than $23.6 billion. In 2014 it posted net income of $3.5 billion on revenue of more than $32.8 billion.
In California, mobile sources of diesel emissions, such as trucks and construction equipment, are one of the largest sources of ultrafine particulate matter. About 625,000 trucks are registered outside of the state, but operate in California and are subject to the rule. Many of these vehicles are older models and emit particulate matter and nitrogen oxides (NOx).
The California Truck and Bus Regulation was adopted into federal Clean Air Act plan requirements in 2012 and applies to diesel trucks and buses operated in California. The rule requires trucking companies to upgrade vehicles they own to meet specific NOx and particulate matter performance standards and also requires trucking companies to verify compliance of vehicles they hire or dispatch. Heavy-duty diesel trucks in California must meet 2010 engine emissions levels or use diesel particulate filters, which can reduce the emissions of diesel particulate into the atmosphere by 85 percent or more.