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Caterpillar settles Clean Air Act case

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Justice Department announced a settlement with Caterpillar to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations for shipping more than 590,000 highway and non-road diesel engines without the correct emissions controls.

Caterpillar also allegedly failed to comply with emission control reporting and engine-labeling requirements, the EPA said. Caterpillar will pay a $2.55 million penalty, continue a recall of non-compliant engines and reduce excess emissions.

“The enforcement of vehicle emissions standards, labeling and reporting requirements is critical to protecting the air we breathe and ensuring that companies play by the rules,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement. “Today’s settlement will protect public health and create a level playing field for companies that meet their environmental obligations.”

California, through its Air Resources Board, is also settling its claims for violations arising from the sale of improperly configured engines in that state. California will receive $510,000 of the civil penalty.

The settlement was lodged Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and is subject to a 30-day public comment period.

Caterpillar, in a statement, said it fully cooperated with the EPA, the California Air Resources Board and the Justice Department.

“As the decree indicates, Caterpillar denies any wrongdoing, but does agree that the decree represents a good-faith effort between the parties to resolve their differences and avoid potentially lengthy litigation,” the company said. “Caterpillar is committed to following the terms of the decree.”

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