Bandit Industries reaches $3 million settlement for alleged Clean Air Act violations

Bandit Industries reaches $3 million settlement for alleged Clean Air Act violations

Company allegedly manufactured and sold wood processing equipment that failed to meet emissions standards.

January 18, 2017
CDR Staff
Equipment & Products Legislation & Regulations Wood/biomass
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with Bandit Industries Inc., Remus, Michigan, for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act for selling nonroad diesel engines and equipment used to process wood and waste that do not meet federal standards. Bandit  has agreed to pay a $3 million civil penalty.

The complaint alleges that Bandit sold nonroad 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). Additionally, as alleged, Bandit built and sold equipment with engines using older emission standards in exceedance of normal inventory restrictions, or “stockpiling.”

The settlement follows what Bandit says was its voluntary self disclosure to the EPA after it discovered one of its suppliers of engines shipped 2,300 diesel engines between 2012 to 2015 that Bandit understood to be legally conforming engines.

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 to provide flexibility to selectively delay compliance with 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.

Bandit says it does not admit liability and expressly denies any intentional or deliberate TPEM noncompliance in the agreement. “The settlement does not affect Bandit’s ability to continue to operate or supply quality products and services to its customers,” the company says in an issued statement. The company also states it has put measures in place to ensure all engines installed on their equipment will comply with the federal Clean Air Act.
A stipulation of judgment and a complaint were simultaneously filed in the Western District of Michigan. Since there is no court order stopping Bandit’s alleged violations in the stipulation, there is no public comment period.

More information on the settlement is available at www.epa.gov/enforcement/bandit-industries-inc-clean-air-act-settlement.

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This story was updated on Feb. 15, 2017, to include statements from Bandit Industries Inc.