Hammerhead Clean Air Act Settlement
(Washington, DC – April 7, 2015) Four interrelated Dallas, Texas-based recreational vehicle importers and their Shanghai, China-based manufacturer have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $560,000 to resolve Clean Air Act violations stemming from the illegal importation and sale of about 4,000 uncertified recreational vehicles under the brand name “Hammerhead.”
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The settlement agreement resolves an administrative enforcement action concerning the importation and sale of these uncertified vehicles by Geason Enterprises, L.L.C. (d/b/a Geason Powersports and d/b/a Hammerhead), GE Ventures, L.P. (d/b/a Hammerhead Off-Road), Hammerhead Off-Road, Inc., and TJ Power Sports L.L.C., and the manufacture of the majority of these vehicles by their foreign affiliate, Shanghai Howhit Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd.
Respondents manufacture, certify, import, and distribute recreational vehicles. Evidence of certification and labeling violations was obtained through inspections of imported vehicles at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, the Port of Dallas, the Port of Chicago, and Hammerhead’s warehouse in Dallas.
This matter regards the importation and sale of approximately 4,076 recreational vehicles between 2007 and 2011 that were not covered by an EPA certificate of conformity (COC), primarily because they were imported under a nonexistent COC, had catalysts that did not conform to the COC applications, lacked an emission control system specified in their COC application, were imported with adjustable parameters not identified in the COC applications, were imported with commercial model names not listed in the COC applications, or were manufactured by a manufacturer different than that listed in the COC applications. Respondents also imported and sold recreational vehicles without compliant labels. Finally, Respondents committed recordkeeping violations for the failure to maintain records on vehicle identification numbers and catalyst design specifications.
Health and Environmental Effects
Recreational vehicles emit carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and nitrogen oxides that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) – Nitrogen oxides can cause or contribute to a variety of health problems and adverse environmental impacts, such as ground-level ozone, acid rain, global warming, water quality deterioration, and visual impairment. Affected populations include children and people with lung diseases such as asthma. Exposure to these conditions can cause damage to lung tissue for people who work or exercise outside.
Ground-level ozone – Ground-level ozone is formed by reactions involving hydrocarbons (HC) and NOx in the presence of sunlight. Breathing ozone can trigger a variety of health problems, including chest pain, coughing, throat irritation, and congestion. It also can worsen bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma. Ground-level ozone damages vegetation and ecosystems as well. In the United States, ozone is responsible for an estimated $500 million in reduced crop production each year.
Carbon monoxide – Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is formed when carbon in fuel is not burned completely. It is a component of motor vehicle exhaust, which contributes about 56 percent of all carbon monoxide emissions nationwide. Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues.
The respondents will pay a total civil penalty of $560,000.
For more information, contact:
Air Enforcement Division
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, MC 2242A
Washington, DC 20460