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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA and Customs seize and export more than 730 illegal vehicles, engines at LA/Long Beach Port

Contact Information: 
Media Contacts: U.S. EPA: Nahal Mogharabi (Mogharabi.nahal@epa.gov)
CBP: Jaime Ruiz (Jaime.i.ruiz@cbp.dhs.gov)

Equipment would have emitted more than 350,000 pounds of harmful air pollution per year

LOS ANGELES- Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the results of a 90-day joint operation targeting foreign-made vehicles and equipment imported without proper emission controls in violation of the federal Clean Air Act. More than 730 items, including ATVs, motorcycles and generators, were seized or exported back to their country of origin. EPA estimates that the noncompliant vehicles and engines in its enforcement cases announced today would have emitted over 350,000 pounds of pollutants per year. The announcement was made at a CBP warehouse in Carson, Calif. where a live inspection of new imports was conducted.

"Small engines mean big emissions, so we have to be extra vigilant when allowing their entry into our country," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "This initiative marks a new chapter in our efforts to prevent air pollution from vehicles and engines."

Under the joint operation between the two agencies, EPA conducted inspections at the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and worked with CBP to investigate companies that had previously imported engines and vehicles. These inspections found that numerous companies imported vehicles and engines without proper certification. As a result of the joint operation's success, EPA Region 9 will continue to conduct inspections with CBP at the ports on a monthly basis. Engines operating without proper emission controls can emit excess carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen which can cause respiratory illnesses, aggravate asthma and contribute to the formation of ground level ozone or smog.

"I'm extremely proud of the diligent and professional work of CBP officers and import specialists who, in coordination with EPA inspectors, applied their keen knowledge and expertise to effectively target, identify and hold suspicious shipments during this joint operation," said Carlos Martel, CBP Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. "The results are outstanding and only attest the great value added when CBP and EPA join forces in protecting American families and the environment."

The eight cases announced today were a result of the joint operation, as well as prior EPA Region 9 inspections. In total, the companies will pay more than $57,000 in civil penalties. Because the companies involved are first time violators, penalties will significantly rise if they violate Clean Air Act regulations again. EPA and CBP will continue to work together to scrutinize future imports of mobile sources of emissions. The eight EPA cases are:

Nan Fang Distribution Group, LLC
Nan Fang imported 26 uncertified compression ignition engines. The engines, imported as parts, lacked the proper emissions certifications and labels. The engines ranged in horsepower and could be used in trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine applications. Nan Fang was required to export all engine models in its inventory that were in violation out of the country.

Kandi USA, Inc.
Kandi imported 64 uncertified ATVs and go-karts. The nonroad vehicles also contained catalysts that did not conform to the description in the company's application for certification. EPA required the company to export all ATVs and go-karts in its inventory that were in violation out of the country.

Vantage Vehicle International, Inc.
Vantage imported 21 uncertified nonroad vehicles such as mini trucks, whose catalysts did not conform to the description in the company's application for certification. The company was required to submit a report to EPA correcting its application for certification.

Dongfang Motor Inc.
Dongfang imported 52 uncertified ATVs. EPA required the company to export all ATVs in violation out of the country.

Dynamic Power Equipment, Inc.
Dynamic Power imported 145 uncertified gasoline or tri-fuel generators that either were not covered by an evaporative emissions certificate or contained catalysts that did not conform to the description in the application for certification. EPA required the company to export the generators in violation out of the country.

Alliance Powersports, Inc.
Alliance Powersports imported 36 uncertified gas powered highway motorcycles that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity that shows that the vehicles meet applicable federal emissions standards and requirements. The company was required to export all motorcycles out of the country.

Denebola Motor Sports USA, Inc.
Denebola imported 14 uncertified highway motorcycles and did not have the correct documentation or engine labeling to demonstrate appropriate use of the vehicles. The company demonstrated that the motorcycles were imported for research and development, and not to be sold for on road use and were provided with the necessary exemption information.

Sanven Corporation
Sanven imported 52 uncertified outboard engines and 55 uncertified small spark-ignition engines. EPA required the company to export all 107 engines out of the country.

The Clean Air Act prohibits the importation or sale of any new engines or vehicles unless they are certified by EPA to meet federal emission standards. Every vehicle and engine sold in the U.S. must be covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity. To obtain certificates of conformity, manufacturers or importers must submit an application to EPA that describes the engine or vehicle, including its emission control system. The application must also provide emissions data demonstrating that the engines and vehicles will meet applicable federal emission standards. For more information about importing vehicles and engines into the United States, please visit: http://epa.gov/otaq/imports/index.htm

CBP is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. It has regulatory authority for merchandise importation, re-export, seizure and forfeiture of unlawful products entering the U.S. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. Please visit CBP's Border Security webpage to learn how CBP secures the United States at our nation's ports of entry at: http://www.cbp.gov/border-security/ports-entry