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1. EPA FINALIZES NON-CONFORMANCE PENALTIES RULE FOR DIESEL MANUFACTURERS, 2. PESTICIDE INFORMATION CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN D.C.-BASED METRO SYSTEM, 3. SCHOOLS AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN IMPROVING INDOOR ENVIRONMENT, 4. COMPLEX IMPORTATION SCHEME IN CONNECTICUT RESULTS IN SENTENCING, 5. KANSAS COMPANY CO-OWNER, MANAGER SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS, 6. TENNESSEE MAN ARRESTED, INDICTED FOR PESTICIDE POISONING OF BIRDS, 7. FUGITIVE SENTENCED IN SEATTLE FOR FAILING TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL

Release Date: 08/01/2002
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Press Advisory

              Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
              more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.


FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2002

EPA FINALIZES NON-CONFORMANCE PENALTIES RULE FOR DIESEL MANUFACTURERS
Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


EPA has finalized a rule establishing monetary penalties that could be used by manufacturers of heavy-duty diesel engines unable to meet 2004 and later model year emission standards. When EPA set the 2004 model year emissions standard for hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides for heavy duty trucks and buses, the Agency committed to establishing non-conformance penalties (NCPs) if the need became apparent. Under a penalty structure established by the Clean Air Act, manufacturers that cannot meet the standards can choose to pay a penalty on a per-engine basis. This rule allows a manufacturer that might be forced from the marketplace in the absence of NCPs to continue to produce and sell engines if the manufacturer cannot meet a particular emission standard due to technological (not economic) difficulties. In order to ensure that manufacturers strive for the lowest possible emissions level, the penalty increases with the amount of emissions in exceedence of the standard. The penalties range from a few hundred dollars for an engine close to meeting the emission standards, to more than $12,000 for an engine emitting the maximum pollution allowed. For example, an engine family that is certified at 3 grams level under the 2004 standard will be subject to an NCP of approximately $3,600. The NCPs also apply to engines covered under a 1998 settlement reached by the Department of Justice and EPA with six major manufacturers of diesel engines. The settlement resolved claims that the manufacturers installed illegal computer software on heavy-duty diesel engines that turned off the emission control system during highway driving. The consent decrees require compliance with the 2004 NOx emission limits by October 2002 and specify that manufacturers unable to meet the emission limits that begin October 2002 pay penalties based on their emissions level above the 2004 standard. EPA has already certified two engines that meet the consent decree guidelines. The final rule and supporting documents are available at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/hd-hwy.htm.

PESTICIDE INFORMATION CAMPAIGN BEGINS IN D.C.-BASED METRO SYSTEM
Dave Deegan 202-564-7839/deegan.dave@epa.gov

National capitol area-based commuters who ride the region’s public buses and subway trains will begin to see informational posters promoting safe pesticide handling practices. Modeled after a successful truck ad campaign and similar efforts in New York and Atlanta, the main message conveyed to the public when working with pesticides is to “Read The Label First!” The program, set to begin Aug. 1 and running for the entire month, will feature posters on 550 Metro buses (fully 1/3 of the fleet) and 10 Metrorail subway stations, including several in economically-disadvantaged areas so that all residents are made aware of safety procedures for pesticides. EPA’s “Read The Label First!” campaign is part of a broader program called the Consumer Labeling Initiative, a partnership involving federal, state and local government agencies, industry and others interested in working to improve product labels on indoor insecticides, outdoor pesticides and household hard surface cleaners.

SCHOOLS AWARDED FOR EXCELLENCE IN IMPROVING INDOOR ENVIRONMENT

Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

For the third year, awards will be given to 21 schools and school districts around the country for adopting programs to improve indoor air quality in their buildings. These awards will be presented at EPA's 3rd Annual Tools for Schools National Symposium. This symposium brings school officials, nurses, teachers, facility managers, parents and others together to raise awareness about indoor air quality and the potential negative effect poor indoor air quality can have on children's health. The schools receiving these awards used EPA's Indoor Air Quality Tools for Schools kit’s to improve air quality. More than 500 health professionals and environmental experts from around the country will attend this award ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Tools for Schools Symposium runs from Aug. 8-10 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. This event, EPA will honor schools and school districts with the annual Excellence Awards and seven school based programs with Special Achievement Awards for creating a healthier environment for students and staff. For more information about this program, go to: www.epa.gov/iaq/schools/ or call 1-800-438-4318 and ask for the Tools for Schools Road Map. The award winners are from the following states: South Carolina; Alaska; Ohio; Texas; Illinois; Kentucky; Connecticut; Missouri; North Dakota; Arizona; Washington; New York; Arizona; California; Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Reporters are welcome to attend the award ceremony and the symposium.
ENFORCEMENT WRAP-UP
Luke C. Hester 202-564-7818/hester.luke@epa.gov
COMPLEX IMPORTATION SCHEME IN CONNECTICUT RESULTS IN SENTENCING

Alfredo Vega of Hato Rey, Puerto Rico, was sentenced to eight months of home detention on July 8 for his involvement with others in a scheme to illegally import hundreds of tons of highly restricted chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The scheme involved the evasion of approximately $7 million in federal excise taxes. The importation of CFCs is restricted under the Clean Air Act because the release of CFCs into the atmosphere damages the earth’s ozone layer, which protects people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light, such as skin cancer and cataracts, and destroys plant life, including crops. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division, the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Customs Service with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in New Haven and the Environmental Crimes Section of the U.S. Department of Justice.

KANSAS COMPANY CO-OWNER, MANAGER SENTENCED TO FIVE YEARS

John Dillon, co-owner and manager of Environmental Services and Products Inc., in Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to serve five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his conviction for illegally storing hazardous wastes. More than 80 drums of ignitable hazardous wastes were illegally stored at his facility. Illegally storing ignitable hazardous wastes can potentially create a serious fire hazard and can be hazardous to firemen responding to fires at sites where they are unaware of the hazardous wastes stored there. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Kansas City.
TENNESSEE MAN ARRESTED, INDICTED FOR PESTICIDE POISONING OF BIRDS

Donald Ray Keel of Trezevant, Tenn., was arrested on July 22. He was indicted on July 18 for allegedly violating the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by baiting deer carcasses with the pesticide aldicarb. Nine hawks were killed when they ate deer flesh that the defendant is alleged to have poisoned for the purpose of killing the birds. Aldicarb is a highly toxic pesticide which can present a significant risk to humans and wildlife through either direct contact with a poisoned animal or by inhalation. Keel has previously served six months in federal prison after being convicted of a similar offense. The case was investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Memphis. An indictment is merely an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in a court of law.
FUGITIVE SENTENCED IN SEATTLE FOR FAILING TO APPEAR FOR TRIAL

Sherman Smith, owner of Seawall Construction, a Seattle area marine construction company, was sentenced on July 12 as a result of his June 12 guilty plea to the offense of failing to appear for a judicial proceeding. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment and one year of supervised release. Smith was surrendered to the U.S. Marshall’s Service in Tucson, Ariz., on April 1 by the Mexican government. Smith had forfeited $20,000 bail when he failed to appear for trial in federal court in Washington state in May 1996 and had been living in Mexico. Smith was previously charged on Sept. 27, 1995, in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle with violating the Clean Water Act. The charges arose from an oil spill that occurred when the M/V Tug Omar sank in Puget Sound. Witnesses alleged that Smith had not properly maintained the tug and knew it was taking on water. Previously, in 1989, Smith had been convicted of pumping oily bilge water into Puget Sound. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and the Washington State Environmental Crimes Task Force and was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Seattle, Wash.

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