An Airway Heights vehicle import/export firm has agreed to pay $65,000 after federal regulators say it impounded a second round of diesel trucks with disabled emissions controls this year.
DDM Imports agreed to the settlement earlier this month, according to enforcement records from the Environmental Protection Agency. A complaint filed in the case alleges that inspection of three new trucks brought from Canada in March showed that systems-reducing emissions had either been removed or disconnected from sensors monitoring pollution. The inspections were conducted by Customs and Border Patrol Agents at the border crossing in Eastport, Idaho.
“Importers of vehicles are responsible for ensuring required pollution controls are intact,” said Ed Kowalski, director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assistance Division of the EPA’s Northwest region. “It’s important to the health of their fellow community members.”
DDM Imports did not return a message seeking comment Thursday. The settlement agreement states that the company “neither admits nor denies the specific factual allegations and legal conclusions” leading to the settlement.
It’s the second time the EPA has targeted DDM Imports this year. In February, the company agreed to pay a $2,400 fine following discovery of another diesel truck at the border that had its lines cut to sensors detecting emissions, according to EPA records. It has been in operation since 2016, according to records from the Washington Secretary of State’s Office.
The federal agency has announced an emphasis on detecting engine tampering and so-called “defeat devices” that enable vehicles to bypass systems engineered to reduce exhaust. In March, three local companies agreed to pay a combined $180,000 to settle fines issued following the sale of such devices.
Health hazards posed by excessive diesel emissions include aggravation of cardiovascular problems, including asthma, and premature death.
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