Navistar Inc., an integrated manufacturer of trucks and diesel engines based in Lisle, Illinois, agreed to mitigate at least 10,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions, according to federal officials.

The company will pay a $52 million civil penalty in a consent decree announced Monday, to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act.

In particular, Navistar illegally introduced into commerce on‑highway Heavy-Duty Diesel Engines (HDDEs) that were not covered by EPA-issued certificates of conformity.

In 2015, the United States filed suit against Navistar alleging that in 2010, after lower emission standards went into effect, the company introduced into commerce 7,749 HDDEs. 

The HDDEs were not certified and did not meet the lower emission standards.

Navistar marketed and sold the engines installed in its international-branded trucks as being EPA-certified model year 2009 engines even though it completed all manufacturing and assembling processes for the engines in 2010.

The court held that the engines were in fact model year 2010 engines and required to be covered by a 2010 certificate of conformity demonstrating compliance with the lower emission requirements.

“This settlement shows we will hold companies accountable when they skirt the law to gain advantage at the expense of public health,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The department’s steadfast pursuit of this case achieved a just result, including that the company must mitigate the harm it caused and, in doing so, specifically must consider assisting communities overburdened by pollution.” 

“Older diesel engines without modern emissions controls emit significant amounts of air pollution that harm people’s health and takes years off people’s lives,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “This harm is greatest in communities near busy roadways, which are too often overburdened by high levels of ozone and particulate matter pollution. Today’s settlement will protect these vulnerable communities by preventing the emission of 10,000 tons of NOx from older, heavily-polluting commercial vehicles and equipment.”

Under the settlement, Navistar will pay a civil penalty of $52 million, forfeit its current account of NOx credits, and purchase and destroy enough older diesel engines to prevent 10,000 tons of future NOx emissions, a powerful air pollutant known to cause significant adverse health effects.

The settlement requires Navistar to structure its mitigation of NOx emissions through one or more programs approved by EPA that will take into consideration geographic diversity and benefits to communities that are overburdened by air pollution.

Navistar will report back to the EPA on its implementation of the program to ensure compliance with the environmental justice and geographic distribution requirements in the consent decree.  

This settlement comes after more than six years of diligent prosecution by the United States.

The federal government prevailed in the first phase of litigation when the U.S. District Court of Illinois held that Navistar was liable for the alleged violations.

In the second phase, and facing an imminent trial on the remedies, the parties reached the negotiated resolution that is captured by the consent decree

By Raul

Raul Hernandez is a former journalist. He has worked as a newspaper reporter for more than 30 years at the El Paso Herald-Post, El Paso Times, Press Enterprise in Riverside, California and the Ventura County Star in California. He was a court reporter for more than 20 years.

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