Aftermarket

Cummins Pays Out For Alleged Clean Air Act Violation

February 22, 2010

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Under a settlement agreement, Cummins Inc. will pay a $2.1 million penalty to the U.S. government and recall 405 engines following a complaint that was filed in federal court in the District of Columbia
claiming the company had violated the Clean Air Act.

According to the complaint, Cummins had shipped more than 570,000 heavy-duty diesel engines to vehicle equipment manufacturers between 1998 and 2006. These engines, the complaint alleges, did not include pollution control equipment, or exhaust aftertreatment devices.

Under the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Act, exhaust aftertreatment devices, such as diesel particulate filters or catalytic converters, must be included in the engines. The complaint says that Cummins tested the engines with the devices, but Cummins did not include the devices with the engines when they were shipped to the vehicle manufacturers. Instead, Cummins relied upon the vehicle manufacturers to purchase and install the correct devices.

Under the settlement, Cummins will recall about 405 engines that were found to have reached consumers and must install the correct equipment.

"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 S. Moreno, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

"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 EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. "These requirements are a critical part of EPA's program to reduce air pollution and secure clean air so that all Americans can breathe easier."

According to the EPA, Cummins' actions resulted in about 167 excess tons of nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon emissions and 30 excess tons of particulate matter emissions over the lifetime of the engines.

The California Air Resources Board will receive $420,000 of the civil penalty under a separate settlement agreement with Cummins.

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