The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued tens of thousands of dollars worth of civil penalties to two midwestern diesel repair shops for selling or installing devices designed to disable emission controls.

According to the EPA, diesel repair shop Midwest Truck Products LLC of Cantril, Iowa, has been ordered to pay a $75,000 penalty. South Central Diesel Inc. of Holdrege, Nebraska, was fined $50,954. 

The EPA alleges that both companies tampered with vehicle engines and/or sold devices to remove emissions controls for hundreds of customers.

“Aftermarket defeat devices are a significant contributor to harmful air pollution,” said Diane Huffman, acting director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These illegal practices also impede federal, state, and local efforts to implement air quality standards that protect public health.”

In addition to the monetary penalties, both companies have certified that they have stopped disabling vehicle emission controls.

“Tampering with vehicle engines, including installation of aftermarket defeat devices intended to bypass manufacturer emissions controls, results in significantly higher releases of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, both of which contribute to serious public health problems in the United States. These problems include premature mortality, aggravation of respiratory and cardiovascular disease, aggravation of existing asthma, acute respiratory symptoms, chronic bronchitis, and decreased lung function. Numerous studies have also linked diesel exhaust to increased incidence of lung cancer,” the EPA said in an August 31 news release.

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