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Bandit Industries Pays $3 Million to Settle Alleged Emissions Violations

BanditBandit Industries has agreed to pay a $3 million civil penalty to settle allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act by selling non-road diesel engines and equipment used to process wood and waste that do not meet federal standards.

Bandit manufactures self-powered, industrial-strength wood and waste processing equipment, such as wood chippers.

The EPA 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).

The EPA also says Bandit built and sold equipment with engines using older emission standards in exceedance of normal inventory restrictions, called “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.

Using equipment that does not meet current emissions standards increases emissions of particulate matter, among other pollutants.

Bandit’s settlement follows several other major environmental management settlements announced in recent weeks.

Last week Pepco agreed to pay $1.6 million and install a water treatment system for alleged Clean Water Act violations at its service center in Anacostia, Washington, DC. A day earlier specialty phosphates producer Innophos agreed to pay almost $1.4 million and stop sending hazardous waste from the company’s facility in Geismar, Louisiana, to an adjacent facility that was not permitted for hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal.

Late last month nearly two dozen companies will pay more than $40 million to clean up a superfund site in Rhode Island after disposing hazardous waste at the site, which environmental regulators say contaminated the soil, groundwater and surface water. Also in December a judge ordered Shell Oil to pay about $22 million to a California city after unsafe levels of a chemical were found in the city’s drinking water supply.

EPA enforcement actions cost companies $13.7 billion during fiscal year 2016.

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