CARB — Saving the Golden State (one blender at a time)

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Over at Dealernews we recently posted a story about the California Air Resources Board’s claim that two San Diego, Calif.-area motorcycle dealers sold off-road motorcycles that were then registered as streetbikes. The result was a $180,000 settlement with the state agency. 

Well, this sparked heated responses from the owner of Motor Forza, Balz Renggli and the owner of GP Motorcycles, Paul Lima, the dealerships targeted by the state. Both say that CARB’s information about the settlement misrepresented the case by saying it had fined the two stores rather than had settled with them. They also say that the agency wrongly accused their stories of wrongdoing. More than anything, the two owners claim, the cases are instances of an arrogant state agency that is accountable to no one and of the bumbling bureaucracy of the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

We try to keep tabs on what CARB is up to given cases like this so we like to prowl through the “Enforcement Actions” section of the regulatory body’s homepage. Just want to make sure our public servants are hard at work protecting the Golden State from all pollutants, foreign and domestic. 

This is when we found the following case from September, and thank goodness we did. God knows how many lives may be saved by these actions, and I’ll be one to thank CARB enforcement on behalf of the lungs of generations to come. You often don’t find such examples of the hard work produced by those CARB workers toiling away in the smoke-filled trenches.

Sacramento – The Air Resources Board this month fined Orange County-based On the Edge Marketing and CSK Auto Inc. of Phoenix $240,000 for selling gasoline-powered blenders using illegal uncertified small off-road engines to California businesses and residents.

Sales of these unauthorized blenders, popular for mixing beverages at tail-gate parties and other outdoor events, occurred in 2007. They feature “two-stroke” engines similar in size to those that power small chain saws, and require that oil be mixed in with the gas. These types of illegal uncertified engines from China can produce emissions 10 times as high as those of compliant certified engines approved for use in California.

In case you’ve never come face-to-face with one of these monsters, look to the rightblender for an example. Please don’t recoil in fear, for they know not how horrible they are. They are only machines. I for one met up with one on long-ago moonlit night and wouldn’t have remembered what happened after it attacked me if it weren’t for the pictures of me blindly smiling, cocktail umbrellas tucked above each ear like a pair of lovely hibiscus. It got ugly.

And, remember this word of warning from CARB chairwoman, Mary D. Nichols. It’s a sentiment I often consider while running around my backyard, drunkenly spraying can after can of AquaNet into the ether.

“Gasoline-powered blenders may be this year’s tailgate sensation, but drinkers should not be polluting our air while having a good time,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

I guess my last question would be how many of these bastardly blenders every made it onto the market. CARB’s press release failed to mention this, only saying that originally the companies involved about 3,000 of the devices from China. The two companies have also been ordered to stop selling goods featuring non-certified small off-road engines and to make payments into the California Air Pollution Control Fund. It doesn’t specify if this is where that $240,000 will end up.

Just when I thought there was a market for my two-stroke powered ice maker. 

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