Thursday, April 8, 2021

EPA Settles Alleged Clean Air Act Violations For Diesel Truck Aftermarket Devices With 3 Companies In Berks, Montgomery Counties

On April 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced settlements with three facilities in Pennsylvania that were involved in the illegal sale and installation of
aftermarket devices that were designed to defeat the emissions control systems of heavy-duty diesel engines.

The three Pennsylvania companies are:

-- Pypes Performance Exhaust, LLC of Hatfield, Montgomery County, paid an $84,000 penalty.

-- Hassler Diesel Performance of Bethel, Berks County, paid a $30,000 penalty.

-- Bell Performance Solutions of Shoemakersville, Berks County, paid a $23,892 penalty. 

The companies allegedly violated the Clean Air Act’s prohibition on the sale or installation of so-called “defeat devices,” which are designed to “bypass, defeat or render inoperative” a motor vehicle engine’s air pollution control equipment or systems. 

Specifically, all three companies were penalized for allegedly selling defeat devices and have certified that they are now in compliance with applicable requirements.  

Illegally modified vehicles and engines contribute substantial excess pollution that harms public health and impedes efforts by EPA, tribes, states and local agencies to attain air quality standards.

Clean Air Act penalties take into account various factors such as the seriousness and duration of the violations, size of the business, the penalty’s impact on the business, compliance history, good faith efforts, and economic benefit of past non-compliance.

These enforcement actions are part of EPA’s National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines.

Today’s vehicles emit far less pollution than vehicles of the past. This is made possible by careful engine calibrations, and the use of filters and catalysts in the exhaust system. Aftermarket defeat devices undo this progress and pollute the air we breathe. 

EPA testing has shown that a truck’s emissions increase drastically (tens or hundreds of times, depending on the pollutant) when its emissions controls are removed.

For more information on this initiative, visit EPA’s Aftermarket Defeat Devices webpage.

[Posted: April 8, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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