The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday announced enforcement actions resulting in $530,199 in fines for emission control violations involving more than 10,000 engines and vehicles imported into the United States at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The actions are the result of ongoing joint operations between the EPA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the ports to identify foreign-made engines and vehicles that lack proper emission controls, including ATVs, motorcycles and construction equipment, according to EPA.
“Oversight of foreign-made engines imported through southern California ports is a priority,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “The enforcement cases announced today prevented hundreds of thousands of pounds of harmful air pollutants from being emitted into our air. We will continue to look work with CBP to ensure that items coming into the U.S. meet federal emissions requirements.”
Under the joint initiative, EPA found companies imported engines and vehicles without certification or proper emissions controls. Engines operating without adequate controls emit excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides, which can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma, and lead to the formation of ground level ozone.
Particular cases involved the following Southern California companies:
— Value Group, located in Norwalk, imported 108 motorcycles from China that contained catalysts not matching their description as certified by EPA. The company shipped the motorcycles out of the U.S. and was required to pay a $50,000 penalty;
— Yamazuki, located in Ontario, imported 213 highway motorcycles, off-highway motorcycles and ATVs from China into the ports. The vehicles contained catalysts not matching their description as certified by EPA. The company shipped the vehicles out of the U.S. and was required to pay a $50,000 penalty; and
— BMS Motorsports, located in Riverside, imported 13 ATVs from China that contained catalysts not matching their description as certified by EPA. The company shipped the ATVs out of the U.S. and was required to pay a $10,000 penalty.
In addition, EPA found another 19 companies from throughout the country imported 4,882 illegal products from China, including motorcycles, scooters, marine engines, ATVs, generators, engines and jackhammers. The companies paid fines totaling $167,199 and were required to ship the items out of the United States.
The EPA has been conducting regular inspections with CBP at California ports of entry since 2014, where more than 40 percent of containerized goods come into the U.S. EPA and CBP’s focus has been on engines, vehicles and pesticides.
Mobile sources, such as on-road and off-road vehicles, are one the largest sources of air pollution in California and account for roughly 20 percent of fine particulate matter and 83 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions, according to EPA.