EPA fines business partner Navistar for high-emission levels of its engines

Article by Anita Panait, on June 28, 2012

Navistar International Corp. is being fined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its inadequacies in the pollution-control technology that the agency helped develop. Navistar inked an agreement in 2004 to take a pollution-control technology that EPA scientists invented. The engine-maker then assimilated the technology to its engines.

In fact, according to Patrick Charbonneau, Navistar's vice president for government relations, the EPA's technologies continue to be a part of the company's engine designs. EPA is receiving royalty payments for allowing Navistar to use the technologies. EPA officials said that the technology would help companies like Navistar meet the agency's rules without employing expensive catalytic-reduction devices.

However, EPA’s technology seemed to have failed Navistar, as the company’s engines have too much nitrous oxide emissions and the agency is now fining the engine-maker for that.

The Navistar-EPA business connections was uncovered by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), Washington-based watchdog of state and federal environmental agencies, through documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. . The Navistar-EPA connection was an offshoot of a rule enacted by the agency in 2001 that required a 95 percent cut in nitrous oxide emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines. Jeff Ruch, PEER’s executive director, quipped to Bloomberg News that EPA is “entangled in a blatant conflict in regulating a business partner."

Navistar’s chief rivals, Volvo Group North America LLC and Cummins Inc, argued in regulatory filings that EPA was being lenient with Navistar by charging fines that aren't high enough. Both engine-makers met EPA rules using different technology.

Topics: epa, engine

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