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Guarding The Borders Against Polluters

Posted on July 14, 2006

The U.S. EPA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection have seized and prevented the import of over 11,000 pieces of illegal gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles and equipment in the past nine months, the EPA has reported. The agency also said it has assessed over $798,000 in civil penalties against the importers, in addition to U.S. Customs penalties and storage fees. The substandard equipment, which includes tractors, lawn and garden equipment, off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and electric generators, poses a significant risk to the U.S. public health and the environment, the EPA said.

The federal Clean Air Act (CAA) requires new gasoline and diesel engines sold or distributed in the United States to meet EPA emissions requirements to protect public health and the environment from air pollution. There has been a recent and dramatic increase in imports of gasoline and diesel equipment, chiefly from China, which do not meet these standards, the agency said.

Prospective purchasers should look for an emissions label before buying engines or equipment; if the label is missing, the equipment most likely is an illegal import and should be avoided. Sellers of such equipment should be reported to EPA through www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.

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