Beveridge & Diamond
Related Practices
Related Practices

CARB Continues to Focus Enforcement Efforts on Engine Certification Requirements

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., July 19, 2011

Throughout 2010 and the first half of 2011, the California Air Resources Board (“CARB”) has made mobile source engine certification and testing a high enforcement priority.  CARB’s mobile source engine certification and testing requirements, described here, apply to on and off-road engines sold or used in the state of California.  They cover cars, light, medium, and heavy-duty vehicles, on and off-road motorcycles, ATVs, off-road heavy duty diesel engines (including those used in generators or in farming, construction, and industrial equipment), small off-road engines, large spark-ignition engines, and spark-ignition marine engines.

CARB has placed a high priority on ensuring that all engines sold or used in the state comply with applicable engine certification and testing requirements.  In particular, CARB has cracked down on the illegal importation of uncertified engines by bringing civil enforcement actions and supporting criminal prosecutions of these violations.[1]  In addition to illegal importation, CARB has placed significant emphasis on enforcement of compression-ignition (diesel) requirements, including requirements governing engine inspection, labeling, retrofits, and in-use requirements for transport refrigeration units (“TRUs”).  CARB has also collected hefty penalties for violations related to off-highway recreational vehicles, aftermarket parts, and small off-road engines.

Ninety-five percent of the 3,701 enforcement cases closed by CARB in 2010 were mobile source cases.  Those cases collectively generated three quarters of the nearly $13 million in penalties collected by CARB in 2010.  In 2011, CARB has continued to aggressively pursue large penalties for mobile source violations.  In July alone, CARB announced a $300,00 illegal importation settlement with Genuine Scooters as well as a $500,000 settlement with Cummins Inc. related to their failure to retest engines as required under the terms of a 1998 settlement agreement.[2]  It is clear that mobile sources remain a top enforcement priority at CARB.

For more information on CARB’s mobile source requirements and enforcement activities, please contact Laura M. Duncan (Principal) at (415) 262-4003, or Daniel M. Brian (Associate) at (415) 262-4016,  

For a printable PDF of this article, please click here.

[1] In a 2010 criminal case investigated by CARB and prosecuted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, Goldenvale, Inc. was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution for the sale of uncertified on and off-road vehicles in California.  The president and vice president of the company also served jail time in association with the violations.  A civil action is still pending against Goldenvale and its principals. 

[2] A CARB press release available here describes the 1998 settlement.  More recently, Cummins settled a case with CARB, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), and the U.S. Department of Justice for $2.1 million.  This 2010 case involved Cummins’ sale of  diesel engines in California that lacked appropriate exhaust aftertreatment devices (a.k.a. “catalysts”).