Authorities at the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland seized nearly 1,400 items as part of an effort targeting foreign- made vehicles and equipment without proper emission controls or products that violate pesticide laws.
The recent enforcement effort was a joint operation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Officials levied more than $94,000 in fines and seized or destroyed items that included engines, scooters and ATVs, as well as illegal pesticides that were imported into the United States in violation of federal law.
The EPA estimated that the non-compliant vehicles and engines in its enforcement cases announced Wednesday would have emitted at least 215,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide and hydrocarbons per year.
Under the “Operation Stop Your Engine” initiative, the EPA conducted inspections at the three ports and worked with CBP personnel to investigate companies that had previously imported engines and vehicles.
The inspections found that several companies imported vehicles and engines without certification or with emissions controls that did not meet specifications.
Engines operating without adequate emission controls may emit excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen that can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and lead to the formation of ground level ozone or smog, officials said.
The EPA identified five companies that collectively paid more than $44,000 in civil penalties for federal Clean Air Act violations as AKMI Corp., Yamazuki Inc., CLC Logistics Inc., Joyner USA Inc. and Infinity Source Inc.
The Clean Air Act prohibits the importation or sale of any new engines or vehicles unless they are certified by EPA to meet federal emission standards.
Three companies collectively paid more than $50,000 in civil penalties under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act for pesticide- related violations. They were Consus Chemicals, LLC; Arysta LifeScience North America, LLC; and Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC.
Under FIFRA, labels must include directions for use and precautionary statements that are designed to minimize the risks associated with the product.
— City News Service