Bandit Industries, Inc., Settles Alleged Clean Air Act Violations for Manufacturing and Selling Wood Processing Equipment That Failed to Meet Emissions Standards
Tricia Lynn (firstname.lastname@example.org)
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today announced a settlement with Bandit Industries, Inc., for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for selling non-road diesel engines and equipment used to process wood and waste that do not meet federal standards. Bandit, based in Remus, Michigan, will pay a $3 million civil penalty.
Bandit is a manufacturer of self-powered, industrial-strength wood and waste processing equipment, such as wood chippers. The complaint alleges that Bandit sold non-road diesel-fueled engines and equipment that were neither covered by the certificates of conformity required by the Clean Air Act, nor exempt from that certification requirement under the requirements of the Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers (TPEM). Additionally, as alleged, Bandit built and sold equipment with engines using older emission standards in exceedance of normal inventory restrictions, commonly referred to as “stockpiling.”
To meet current diesel-fuel emissions standards, equipment manufacturers generally modify their equipment designs to accommodate engines with additional and improved emissions control devices. In the TPEM program, EPA adopted transition provisions for equipment manufacturers to provide flexibility to selectively delay compliance with current emissions standards for up to seven years. The complaint alleges that Bandit did not transition to the current emissions standards in time, and sold equipment with older noncompliant engines, creating a competitive advantage over manufacturers offering compliant products.
Use of equipment that does not meet current more stringent emissions standards increases emissions of particulate matter, among other pollutants. Particulate matter has been linked to a range of serious respiratory health problems that include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravated asthma, acute respiratory symptoms including aggravated coughing and difficult or painful breathing, chronic bronchitis and decreased lung function that can be experienced as shortness of breath. Symptoms of immunological effects such as wheezing and increased allergenicity have also been observed. In addition, EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee has concluded that diesel exhaust is likely to be carcinogenic to humans.
A stipulation of judgment and a complaint will be simultaneously filed in the Western District of Michigan. Since there is no injunctive relief in the stipulation, there is no public comment period.
For more information on this settlement: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/bandit-industries-inc-clean-air-act-settlement