Pep Boys Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. has paid US$154,000 in penalties to the Air Resources Board (ARB) for selling ATVs in California that violated state air quality standards.

“Retailers who sell engines not certified to meet California standards will be held fully accountable for their actions,” says ARB chairman Mary D. Nichols. “Compliance with our regulations is a crucial step toward improving air quality and protecting public health.”

Pep Boys sold Baja Motorsports’ Storm 125cc ATVs to California residents in December of 2006. According to the ARB, once it became aware that the ATVs failed to meet California emissions requirements, Pep Boys self-reported the violations.

“Once Pep Boys was made aware that the Storm 125 ATV did not meet California emissions requirements, the company immediately ceased selling the units and recalled them from the stores, complying with all California Air Resources Board direction,” Pep Boys said in a statement. “Pep Boys remains committed to being an environmentally conscious organization.”

ARB spokesperson Gennet Paauwe says her organization works with companies to negotiate the settlement amount.

“We have a base amount for each violation. It’s pretty much based on the number of ATVs that were found to be non-compliant,” Paauwe told ATV.com.

Paauwe says that the amount of money in the settlement is also determined by how cooperative the offending company is in the process and how many past violations they have had.

“We’re a bit more lenient with companies which are cooperative,” says Paauwe.

The $154,000 settlement was paid to the Air Pollution Control Fund, which is used to fund projects that alleviate pollution through education and the use of cleaner technology.

A division of the California Environmental Protection Agency, the ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California.

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