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Diesel Engine Firm Must Audit Emissions Testing

(CN) - MTU America Inc., a manufacturer of heavy duty diesel engines, will pay $1.2 million and place stronger controls on its emissions testing program to settle EPA claims it violated the Clean Air Act, the Justice Department announced.

Environmental regulators say the company, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, violated the Clean Air Act by selling nearly 1,000 diesel engines without conducting proper emissions tests on them, but nevertheless certifying that they met U.S. environmental standards.

Under the terms of the settlement, future audits will be conducted by an EPA-approved, third-party auditor that will monitor and document the company's compliance with Clean Air Act requirements for testing, certification, record-keeping and reporting.

The agreement also requires MTU America to take correction actions if the audit reveals noncompliance.

Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator of the EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said the actions are necessary because improperly certified engines can emit toxins that aggravate asthma and other respiratory illnesses.

All engines sold in or imported into the U.S. must be covered by a valid, EPA-issued certificate of conformity. When applying for a certificate of conformity, an applicant must certify to EPA that it followed appropriate testing, certification, record-keeping and reporting requirements to ensure its products will meet applicable federal emission standards to control air pollution.

The EPA says based on a tip, it discovered that MTU Americas had obtained EPA certificates of conformity without conducting valid testing. According to regulators, company employees installed a catalytic converter onto its prototype engines during testing to reduce emissions of pollutants.

The company also allegedly performed maintenance during durability testing on the same engine, but had not reported this to EPA, a violation of testing regulations.

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