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MotorScience, Owner Settle Clean Air Violations

Posted on August 29, 2013

Two Los Angeles-based consulting firms, MotorScience Inc., and MotorScience Enterprise Inc., (MotorScience) and their owner, Chi Zheng, have agreed to settle alleged Clean Air Act (CAA) violations stemming from the illegal import of 24,478 all-terrain, recreational vehicles into the U.S. from China without testing to ensure emissions would meet applicable limits, the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced.

MotorScience and Zheng have agreed to have a stipulated judgment entered against them for a $3.55 million civil penalty and to pay an additional $60,000 civil penalty within six months. The United States will receive 80% of collected penalties and California will receive the remaining 20%.

The settlement also requires that for the next 15 years, before either MotorScience or Zheng may engage in any further work involving non-road vehicles and engines, they must follow a rigorous compliance plan to ensure that any emissions testing and certification applications submitted to EPA or CARB accurately represent those vehicles and engines. Non-road vehicles and engines include recreational vehicles, generators, lawn and garden equipment, and other non-road internal combustion engines.

EPA’s investigation showed that MotorScience obtained EPA certificates of conformity for numerous vehicles without conducting required emissions testing. As alleged in separate complaints filed in federal district court by the United States and the state of California in September 2011, MotorScience arranged for emissions testing of a limited number of vehicles and then reused those results to obtain certificates of conformity for numerous other, dissimilar vehicles. For at least three of those vehicles, EPA confirmed that their emissions exceeded the federal limits for hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.

More information on the settlement: