News Releases from Region 10

3rd case against Airway Heights, WA company

06/30/2021

EPA levies $66k penalty against DDM Imports for illegal truck imports

3rd case against Airway Heights, WA company

SEATTLE (June 30, 2021) — For the third time in less than two years, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has settled a federal Clean Air Act case against DDM Imports of Airway Heights, Washington for illegally importing from Canada diesel pickup trucks lacking required emission controls.

In similar cases brought by the EPA in April & October 2020, DDM paid penalties totaling $67,400 for illegally importing diesel pickup trucks without required emission controls.

Under the terms of the Consent Agreement and Final Order announced today, the company will pay $66,622 for another attempt to import illegal diesel pickup trucks.

Heavy-duty diesel pickup engines can emit large amounts 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.

As in the two prior cases, the case announced today came to EPA from officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection – Office of Field Operations who in November 2020 inspected two Ford F-350 diesel pickup trucks at the U.S.-Canada border in Eastport, Idaho and found that the wires and connections between emissions sensors and controls and the vehicles’ onboard diagnostics systems had been cut on both trucks. In addition, emission control device catalysts had been removed from one of the trucks. The Clean Air Act requires all used vehicles imported to the U.S. be outfitted with the emission controls required at the time of their manufacture.

This company is well aware that importers of vehicles are responsible for ensuring required pollution controls are intact,” said Ed Kowalski, director of EPA Region 10’s Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Division. “We will continue to aggressively enforce the law, and we appreciate the partnership with the Customs and Border Protection officers in ensuring compliance to protect people’s health.

CBP Officers are tasked with enforcing rules and regulations for over 50 different agencies to ensure dangerous goods and products are not allowed to enter the U.S.,” said CBP Area Port Director Jason Greene. “Thanks to the diligent work of CBP Officers at the Eastport, ID Port of Entry, the attempted import of illegally modified vehicles was detected and resulted in a collaborative enforcement effort with the EPA.”  

Click here for more about EPA’s regulations for onroad vehicles and engines.

To view all closed vehicle and engine enforcement matters, please visit:  

www.epa.gov/enforcement/clean-air-act-vehicle-and-engine-enforcement-case-resolutions

In recognition of the substantial excess pollution caused by illegally modified vehicles and engines, EPA is implementing a National Compliance Initiative entitled Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines. In furtherance of this initiative, EPA will continue to vigorously pursue enforcement against those who violate the defeat device and tampering prohibitions of the Clean Air Act. In addition, EPA has and will continue to prosecute criminal activity related to the illegal sale and installation of defeat devices.

If you suspect someone is manufacturing, selling or installing illegal defeat devices, or is tampering with emissions controls, tell EPA by writing to tampering@epa.gov.

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Author: Editor
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