Cummins Inc., an engine maker based in the United States, is facing the largest Clean Air Act penalty ever due to accusations of emissions test cheating.
The penalty, which is part of a proposed settlement between the government and the company, would cost Cummins more than $1 billion. It comes after an eight-year investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which discovered that Cummins had used software that allowed them to bypass emissions tests and create vehicles that discharged more pollutants than allowed by law.
The proposed settlement case, which is currently under review by the Justice Department, includes an $84.7 million civil penalty, the largest under the Clean Air Act to date. In addition, Cummins would also agree to stop selling engines containing software that could bypass emissions testing and recall vehicles that already contain it. The company would also have to pay for a “beneficial environmental project” to reduce diesel emissions in target areas.
The EPA called Cummins’ actions “egregious” and a “flagrant violation” of federal law that posed a threat to public health and the environment. The agency said that Cummins’ actions unfairly gave them a competitive advantage over other diesel engine manufacturers who had complied with the law.
The proposed settlement between Cummins and the EPA is an important reminder of the need to protect our environment and abide by the rules. Companies that cheat the system will be held accountable and will face serious financial consequences. This settlement should also serve as a warning to other companies that the EPA is serious about enforcing the Clean Air Act, and that those who violate the law will be severely punished.