Enforcement

Clean Air Act Vehicle and Engine Settlements

EPA enforces the vehicle and engine certification provisions of Title II of the Clean Air Act and regulations at 40 C. F. R. Parts 85, 86, 89 through 94, and 1039 through 1068.

The Clean Air Act requires new engines and equipment sold or distributed in the United States to be certified to meet EPA-established emissions requirements to protect public health and the environment from air pollution. The certification and prohibition requirements apply equally to importers and manufacturers. There has been a recent and dramatic increase in imports of engines and equipment which do not meet these standards. These imports mostly involve tractors, lawn and garden equipment, motorcycles (both highway and off-road), ATVs, and electrical generators.

Over half the pollutants in America's air come from "mobile sources" of air pollution. These mobile sources include cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, recreational "scooters", "off road" construction equipment, and small engines and equipment. Mobile source pollutants include smog-forming volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, various toxic air pollutants such as cancer-causing benzene, and particulate matter or "soot". These pollutants are responsible for asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

EPA may seek civil penalties or injunctive relief (including remediation of the violations and projects to offset illegal emissions) for violations of the Act or regulations, and may bring cases in federal district court or through an administrative process. Enforcement actions include cases against all the types of regulated parties as listed above.

EPA's importation settlements typically require importers to export the uncertified engines and equipment, pay a civil penalty, and submit a compliance plan to ensure future compliance with the Act. The civil penalties are in addition to the U.S. Customs civil penalties, and any expenses associated with storage, exportation, and implementation of a compliance plan. Violators are subject to a potential civil penalty of up to $32,500 per violation and the economic benefit or savings resulting from the violation.