01/25/2007 at 06:00 PM EST
Jesse James is a dirty guy, according to California air regulators.
The Monster Garage
host and his West Coast Choppers were hit with a $271,250 fine by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), who claims his custom bikes have run afoul of the state's clean-air laws.
The bikes were sold between 1998 and 2005.
His customized bikes were spewing 10 times the legal limits of hydrocarbons, according to the air police at the California Air Resources Board. Investigators found that his monster bikes did not have state-certified emissions equipment on their exhaust and fuel systems.
But in a statement released by his publicist, 37-year-old James – who married
actress Sandra Bullock in July 2005 – bristles at the disclosure of the fine by CARB and notes that the air police did not respond to his offer to make the vehicles he sold compliant with federal emissions standards
"I think it's pretty suspicious that an organization (CARB) that runs under the premise of 'Clean Air' is putting out press releases on the cash settlements they are extracting from California businesses," he said in a statement. "If their intentions were really focused on the environment they surely would have taken my offer to make all of the 'Non-Compliant' Motorcycles meet Federal EPA standards. They did not accept my offer and stated that they were only interested in the cash settlement."
James added that West Coast Choppers Motorcycles have complied with federal safety and emissions standards, opened the first green fast-food restaurant Cisco Burger and that they're pioneering a zero-emissions hydrogen-powered car capable of 250 mph.
James also added that he hopes paying the fine will "bring to light that California has a flawed system when it comes to its Clean Air Agencies and the policies and practices they use."