EPA Files Clean Air Act Complaint Against Company in Waterford, Michigan, for the Sale of Vehicle Emission “Defeat Devices”
(CHICAGO) December 16, 2021 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has filed a complaint against Diesel Ops LLC and Orion Diesel LLC in Waterford, Mich., for manufacturing, selling, and installing aftermarket parts known as "defeat devices" designed to defeat required vehicle emissions controls in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
"This action sends a strong message that selling and installing defeat devices on vehicles and engines will not be tolerated," said EPA Region 5 Administrator Debra Shore. "Emission control systems on vehicles are designed to protect public health by reducing pollution, which is why EPA is committed to ensuring that companies comply with the Clean Air Act."
EPA is seeking monetary civil penalties and injunctive relief in its CAA complaint to prevent Diesel Ops and Orion Diesel from manufacturing, selling or installing the defeat devices. The complaint also alleges that Nicholas Piccolo, an owner of the companies, failed to establish and maintain records and respond to requests for information, and that the companies transferred assets to him in violation of the Federal Debt Collection Procedures Act.
As a result of EPA's efforts to improve air quality and fuel efficiency, cars and trucks manufactured today emit far less pollution than older vehicles. To meet EPA's emission standards, engine manufacturers have carefully calibrated their engines and installed sophisticated emissions control systems. EPA testing has shown that aftermarket defeat devices can increase vehicle emissions substantially, which can contribute to a variety of public health problems typically associated with exposure to air pollution. These health effects can include premature death in people with heart or lung disease, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, aggravated asthma, decreased lung function, and respiratory symptoms such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing.
Because defeat devices contribute excess dirty emissions to communities located adjacent to highways and freight facilities, EPA regards halting the manufacture, sale, offering for sale, and installation of defeat devices as key issues in working toward environmental justice.
This enforcement action is part of EPA's National Compliance Initiative for Stopping Aftermarket Defeat Devices for Vehicles and Engines: https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/national-compliance-initiative-stopping-aftermarket-defeat-devices-vehicles-and-engines.