Swedish company Husqvarna AB and its U.S. affiliate, Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A., Inc., have agreed to pay a $2.85 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced this earlier this week.
The agreement is a result of Husqvarna’s failure to provide EPA with complete and accurate emissions testing information relating to engines used in handheld lawn, garden and forestry equipment manufactured during the 2011-2013 period. Today’s agreement, filed with the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, requires Husqvarna to pay a $2.85 million civil penalty.
As a result of EPA’s investigation, Husqvarna agreed to reduce its emission credit balance by approximately 1,700 tons and improve quality assurance measures related to manufacturing, testing and reporting emissions from outdoor power products, such as trimmers, leaf blowers, and chainsaws. Consumers and professional users of these products, which are sold under various brand names, will benefit from reductions in emissions from products the company sells in the future.
“This settlement demonstrates the Department’s commitment to enforcing federal clean air laws,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey H. Wood of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Working with our partners at EPA, we will continue to uphold the integrity of emissions testing programs to ensure clean air for the American people.”
“As a result of this investigation, Husqvarna’s products will produce less air pollution, which means cleaner air for consumers and American communities,” said Acting Assistant Administrator Larry Starfield for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “EPA is committed to both making sure internal combustion engines perform as designed and holding accountable manufacturers who fail to properly test or report how much air pollution those engines emit.”
Engines sold in the United States must meet applicable emission standards for hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen, both ozone precursors. To demonstrate compliance with these standards, manufacturers must perform “production line testing” on a select number of engines from each “engine family” to verify that engines within the engine family as a whole meet the applicable emission standards. Manufacturers must then report certain information to EPA about their production line testing.
During an audit of Husqvarna’s production line testing reports conducted by EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality and a subsequent investigation by EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, EPA found pervasive errors in the way Husqvarna was determining the minimum number of engines to test and the way Husqvarna was determining whether engine families were meeting the applicable emission standards. In all, EPA determined that Husqvarna submitted incomplete and inaccurate production line testing reports for 119 separate engine families.
Husqvarna is the largest manufacturer of handheld engines and equipment for the U.S. market. Husqvarna manufactures and tests its handheld lawn, garden and forestry equipment in Huskvarna, Sweden and Nashville, Arkansas, and its United States headquarters is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For more information, go to https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/husqvarna-ab-and-husqvarna-consumer-outdoor-products-na-inc-clean-air-act-settlement.