Issues

Clean Air Watch

United States Files Complaint Against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche for Alleged Clean Air Act Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, today filed a civil complaint in federal court in Detroit, Michigan against Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC, Porsche AG, and Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The complaint alleges that nearly 600,000 diesel engine vehicles had illegal defeat devices installed that impair their emission control systems and cause emissions to exceed EPA’s standards, resulting in harmful air pollution. The complaint further alleges that Volkswagen violated the Clean Air Act by selling, introducing into commerce, or importing into the United States motor vehicles that are designed differently from what Volkswagen had stated in applications for certification to EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). To see the EPA’s full statement, click here.

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EPA Issues Final Rule on Ozone Standards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has strengthened the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone to 70 parts per billion (ppb) from 75 ppb. The Clean Air Act provides states with time to meet the standards. Depending on the severity of their ozone situation, areas would have until between 2020 and 2037 to meet the standards. See EPA’s full release here.

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EPA Continues to Investigate Clean Air Act Violation

WASHINGTON – Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a letter sent to vehicle manufacturers notifying them that the agency is adding to its confirmatory testing additional evaluations designed to look for potential defeat devices.

View the letter here:  http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/violations.htm

Last Friday, EPA sent a Notice of Violation of the Clean Air Act to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. alleging that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards.

These cars contain software that turns off emissions controls when driving normally, and turns them on when the car is undergoing an emission test.  Known as a “defeat device,” this design feature results in the cars emitting up to 40 times the amount of NOx emissions that the standards allow.  NOx standards are in place to ensure public health is protected.

EPA’s notice of violation, along with an In-Use Compliance Letter that the California Air Resources Board issued, provide information and details relating to the VW violations:

View a pdf of the Notice of Violation here:

http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/documents/vw-nov-caa-09-18-15.pdf

 View the California Air Resources Board’s In-Use Compliance Letter here:

http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/in_use_compliance_letter.htm

For more information on EPA’s recent action, as well as information for owners of the affected vehicles, visit:http://www3.epa.gov/otaq/cert/violations.htm

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EPA, California Notify Volkswagen of Clean Air Act Violations

Carmaker allegedly used software that circumvents emissions testing for certain air pollutants

Today, EPA is issuing a notice of violation (NOV) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) to Volkswagen AG, Audi AG, and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. (collectively referred to as Volkswagen). The NOV alleges that four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi diesel cars from model years 2009-2015 include software that circumvents EPA emissions standards for certain air pollutants. California is separately issuing an In-Use Compliance letter to Volkswagen, and EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have both initiated investigations based on Volkswagen’s alleged actions. Read more here.

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Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works holds Hearing on Domestic Renewable Fuels

Recently, the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works held a hearing on Domestic Renewable Fuels. The hearing is titled “Oversight Hearing on Domestic Renewable Fuels.”  The first panel of Witnesses included Chris Grundler, Director at the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Steven Chalk, Deputy Assistant Secretary for renewable power at the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. The second panel included Wesley K. Clark, co-chairman of the Board of Directors at Energy Growth, Jim Collins, Jr., Senior Vice President of Industrial Biosciences of Performance Polymers and Packaging & Industrial Polymers at DuPont, Charles T. Drevna, president at the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Jon Holzfaster, owner and operator at Holzfaster Farm, Scott Faber, Vice President of Government Affairs at the Environmental Working Group, and Brooke Coleman, Executive Director at the Advanced Ethanol Council.

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