EPA Fines Nebraska, Iowa And Missouri Auto Repair Shops for ‘Defeat Device’ Violations
Environmental Protection Agency Headquarters Building in Washington DC (getty images)

(KFOR NEWS  August 30, 2022)   LENEXA, KAN. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has penalized three companies to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). According to EPA, the companies installed and/or sold illegal “defeat devices” in vehicle engines designed to render emissions controls inoperative.

Husker Diesel Inc. of Gretna, Nebraska, will pay $60,150, Central Iowa Truck Repair LLC of Boone, Iowa, will pay a civil penalty of $95,371 and R.T.R. Roger’s Truck Repair LLC of Fenton, Missouri, will pay $46,316.

Modifying auto emissions controls is illegal, contributes significantly to harmful air pollution, and makes it harder to meet air quality standards,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These illegal practices exacerbate the effects of pollution in already overburdened communities.”

As part of their settlements with EPA, all three companies agreed to demolish their inventories of defeat device components and certified that they stopped selling or installing devices that disable vehicle emission controls.

R.T.R. Roger’s Truck Repair and Husker Diesel are in communities that are already disproportionately affected by pollution. Additionally, R.T.R. Roger’s Truck Repair is in St. Louis County, which is an ozone non-attainment area, meaning that it does not meet the CAA national ambient air quality standard for ozone.

Tampering with vehicle engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines can help protect vulnerable communities and reduce ozone-forming pollutant emissions. EPA identified this as one of six National Compliance Initiatives announced in 2019 and is a top priority for the Agency.

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