U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA) announced today that Cummins Inc. will pay a $2.1 million penalty
and recall 405 engines under a settlement agreement resolving alleged
violations of the Clean Air Act.
According to a complaint filed simultaneously with the settlement in
federal court in the District of Columbia, between 1998 and 2006
Cummins shipped more than 570,000 heavy duty diesel engines to vehicle
equipment manufacturers nationwide without pollution control equipment
included, in violation of the Clean Air Act. This equipment, known as
exhaust after-treatment devices (ATDs), controls engine exhaust
emissions once the emissions have exited the engine and entered the
exhaust system. Typical ATDs include catalytic converters and diesel
Engine manufacturers must prove through testing that their engine
designs meet EPA’s emissions standards and seek certificates of
conformity. According to the complaint, Cummins tested the engines with
the ATDs to meet the standards, but failed to include the ATDs with the
engines when Cummins shipped the engines to the vehicle manufacturers.
Instead, Cummins relied upon the vehicle manufacturers to purchase and
install the correct ATDs. The United States alleges that the shipment
of engines to vehicle manufacturers without the ATDs violates the Clean
Air Act’s prohibition on the sale of engines not covered by
certificates of conformity.
The settlement requires Cummins to recall approximately 405 engines
that were found to have reached the ultimate consumers without the
correct ATDs in order to install the correct ATDs.
"This settlement assures that the environment suffers no ill effects
because it requires that Cummins not only install the proper pollution
control devices but also mitigate the effects of the harmful emissions
released as a result of its actions," said Ignacia Moreno, assistant
attorney general for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural
"Reliable and effective pollution control systems are essential to
protect human health and the environment from harmful engine
emissions," said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "These requirements are
a critical part of the EPA’s program to reduce air pollution and secure
clean air so that all Americans can breathe easier."
The EPA estimates that Cummins’ actions resulted in approximately 167
excess tons of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon emissions, and 30 excess
tons of particulate matter emissions over the lifetime of the
non-conforming engines. Cummins will mitigate the effects of excess
emissions from its non-conforming engines through permanent retirement
of emission credits equal to the excess tons of pollution.
The state of California Air Resources Board will receive $420,000 of
the civil penalty under a separate settlement agreement with Cummins,
continuing a federal government practice of sharing civil penalties
with states that participate in clean air enforcement actions.
The Cummins settlement was lodged today in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Columbia, and is subject to a 30-day public comment
period. A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice
Department Web site at http://www.justice.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html.