News Releases from
Region 07

Environmental News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Lenexa, Kan., Aug. 31, 2021) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assessed civil penalties against two companies for installing or selling “defeat devices” in vehicle engines to render emissions controls inoperative, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.

“Aftermarket defeat devices are a significant contributor to harmful air pollution,” said Diane Huffman, acting director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These illegal practices also impede federal, state, and local efforts to implement air quality standards that protect public health.”

Diesel repair shop Midwest Truck Products LLC of Cantril, Iowa, will pay a $75,000 penalty. South Central Diesel Inc. of Holdrege, Nebraska, an industrial machinery and equipment distribution company, will pay a penalty of $50,954. According to EPA, the companies tampered with vehicle engines and/or sold devices to remove emissions controls for hundreds of customers.

In addition to paying civil penalties, the companies certified that they have stopped disabling vehicle emission controls.

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 have also linked diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer.

Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The Agency identified this goal as one of six National Compliance Initiatives in 2019. For more information, please visit EPA’s website.

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