Detroit Settles Dispute Over Emissions Violations

06 October 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ) have announced a settlement with Detroit Diesel Corp., a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America, that resolves alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for selling heavy-duty diesel engines that were not certified by EPA and did not meet applicable emission standards.

Under the settlement, Detroit will spend $14.5 million on projects to reduce nitrogen oxide and other pollutants, including replacing high-polluting diesel school buses and locomotive engines with models that meet current emissions standards. The company will also pay a $14 million civil penalty.

The government’s complaint, filed at the same time as the settlement, alleges that Detroit Diesel violated the Clean Air Act by introducing into commerce 7786 heavy-duty diesel engines for use in trucks and buses in model year 2010 without a valid EPA-issued certificate of conformity demonstrating conformance with Clean Air Act standards to control nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The complaint also alleges that the engines did not conform to emission standards applicable to model year 2010 engines.

“Today’s settlement protects clean air for many communities and vulnerable people across the country, including school children,” said Cynthia Giles, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA will continue to hold engine manufacturers accountable for meeting emissions standards that protect public health and the air we breathe.”

The complaint alleged that Detroit commenced construction of the heavy-duty diesel engines during model year 2009, but did not complete construction of the engines until calendar year 2010. Because Detroit Diesel completed all manufacturing and assembling processes for the engines in 2010, the complaint alleges that the engines were produced in 2010 and required a certificate of conformity demonstrating compliance with 2010 emission standards.

From approximately Jan. 5, 2010 through approximately June 1, 2010, Detroit sold the engines for on-highway use in heavy-duty vehicles. Because the engines were not certified to the more stringent 2010 NOx emission standards, The engines were manufactured in Detroit, Mich., but were introduced into commerce across the country.

Under the consent decree, Detroit Diesel will be required to implement projects to replace high-polluting school buses with school buses that meet current federal emissions standards and replace or repower high-polluting switch locomotives. Detroit is also required to post data and information about the clean diesel projects on a public website.

More information on the settlement is available here.

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