News Releases from Region 07
EPA Collects Penalties for Alleged Automobile ‘Defeat Device’ Violations by Two Iowa Companies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Lenexa, Kan., Nov. 23, 2020) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has reached settlements with two Iowa companies for allegedly tampering with car engines to render emissions controls inoperative, in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
According to EPA, Menzel Enterprises Iowa Inc. of West Des Moines installed so-called “defeat devices” in at least five vehicles. EPA also alleged that UpCountry Fab and Performance LLC of Clive, Iowa, removed emission control equipment and/or sold “defeat devices” on at least 48 occasions.
Under the terms of the settlements, each company will pay a civil penalty and must certify that it will refrain from disabling emission controls in the future.
“Modifying auto emissions controls is illegal and contributes substantial excess air pollution,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These practices also impede efforts by EPA, states and tribes to plan and implement air quality standards.”
Tampering of car engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies also link diesel exhaust to increased incidences of lung cancer.
Stopping aftermarket defeat devices for vehicles and engines is a top priority for EPA. The Agency identified this goal as one of seven National Compliance Initiatives in 2019.
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