Husqvarna Ab and Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A., Inc., Clean Air Act Settlement
(Washington, D.C. – December 5, 2017) - Swedish company Husqvarna AB and its U.S. affiliate, Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A., Inc., have agreed to pay a $2.85 million civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice announced today.
The agreement is a result of Husqvarna’s failure to provide EPA with complete and accurate emissions testing information relating to engines used in handheld lawn, garden and forestry equipment manufactured during the 2011-2013 period.
- Injunctive Relief
- Pollutant Impacts
- Health Effects and Environmental Benefits
- Civil Penalty
- Comment Period
Overview of Company
Husqvarna AB is a Swedish company, with its principle place of business in Huskvarna, Sweden. Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A., Inc., a subsidiary of Husqvarna AB, is a domestic company with a principle place of business in Charlotte, North Carolina. Husqvarna AB and Husqvarna Consumer Outdoor Products N.A., Inc., is the largest U.S. manufacturer of handheld equipment containing small, spark-ignited nonroad engines, such as leaf blowers and chainsaws.
EPA administers a certification program to ensure that small, spark-ignited nonroad equipment used in the U.S. meets applicable emissions standards. Manufacturers of such equipment must test prototypes of each model (engine family) to ensure that each model does not exceed a self-selected emissions limit, or “family emissions limit,” and EPA issues a certificate of conformity. If the selected emissions limit for an engine family is below the maximum allowable limit, manufacturers can generate emissions credits which may be used to allow other current or future models to emit more than they otherwise would be allowed to emit.
In order to ensure that the equipment that is actually produced and sold meets the emissions limit of the tested prototype, EPA requires that equipment coming off the assembly line be tested in specified numbers and according to a specified method. If, on average, the tested equipment does not meet the family emissions limit, the manufacturer must raise the family emissions limit.
For some production engine families Husqvarna did not test enough engines, test in the correct manner, account for failed tests or retests, or raise its family emissions limit. In a separate violation, Husqvarna did not finish securing its certificate of conformity for one engine family of chainsaws.
The settlement does not include injunctive relief because Husqvarna voluntarily raised its family emissions limits for affected engine families and relinquished emissions credits. Husqvarna also voluntarily instituted new, corporate-wide quality control procedures. For the single family of chainsaws for which Husqvarna did not finish securing a certificate of conformity, no injunctive relief is needed because Husqvarna could have secured the certificate of conformity without modification of the tested prototype.
- Husqvarna relinquished emissions credits representing nearly 1,700 tons of nitrous oxides plus hydrocarbons. These credits will not be available for future use by Husqvarna or other manufacturers. Husqvarna’s recently instituted quality control procedures and improved product mix should also reduce emissions from future products.
Health Effects and Environmental Benefits
NOx is a major contributor to the formation of ground-level ozone. The settlement will benefit public health because ozone exposure causes a range of human pulmonary and respiratory health effects, including chest pain, coughing, and shortness of breath. In addition to ground-level ozone, the secondary impacts of NOx include the formation of particulate matter, acid rain, and eutrophication of coastal waters. Therefore, reduction in NOx emissions has benefits to both public health and the environment and may assist the states in meeting the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter.
Husqvarna will pay a penalty of $2.85 million.
The proposed settlement is lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. No comment period is applicable to the settlement because it is a Stipulation, Settlement and Judgment.
David E. Alexander, Attorney
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Air Enforcement Division (Mailcode 2242A)
1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20460-0001