Bandit Industries reaches $3 million settlement with EPA over engine supplier violations

Chipper and stump grinder manufacturer Bandit Industries has reached a $3 million settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) related to 2,552 alleged Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers (TPEM) Federal Clean Air Act violations due to non-compliance of non-road diesel engines supplied to the company.

Bandit says the settlement comes after it voluntarily self-disclosed to the agency that it discovered one of its engine suppliers had shipped between 2012 and 2015 what the company thought were legally conforming engines.

The company states it has been in talks with the EPA regarding the issue since 2015 and reached the agreement in November 2016.

“Bandit does not admit liability and Bandit expressly denies any intentional or deliberate TPEM non-compliance in the agreement,” Bandit Industries President Jerry Morey said in a statement. “The settlement will not affect Bandit’s ability to continue to operate or supply quality products and service to its customers. Bandit has not had any previous clean air violations and has put in measures to ensure all engines installed on their equipment comply with the Federal Clean Air Act.”

Here is the statement from the EPA regarding the violations:

Based on information disclosed by Bandit and obtained through an EPA investigation, EPA alleged that Bandit committed 2,552 violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA) due to non-compliance with the requirements of the Act’s Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers (TPEM). Bandit allegedly sold certain non-road compression-ignition, diesel-fueled engines and equipment that were neither covered by the certificates of conformity required under Section 203(a)(1) of the CAA, nor exempt from that certification requirement because Bandit’s engines and equipment failed to meet the TPEM regulations. Additionally, at the outset of its participation in TPEM, Bandit allegedly ‘stockpiled’ prior model year engines in exceedance of normal inventory. The CAA prohibits stockpiling engines that meet older emission standards before a new emission standard takes effect.

To meet current diesel-fuel Tier 4 emission standards, equipment manufacturers generally modify their equipment designs to accommodate engines with additional and improved emissions control devices.  In the TPEM program, EPA adopted transition provisions for equipment manufacturers to provide flexibility for equipment manufacturers to selectively delay compliance with current emissions standards for up to seven years. Bandit allegedly did not transition to the current emissions standards in time and sold equipment with older noncompliant engines, creating a competitive advantage over equipment manufacturers offering compliant products.”

The EPA says there is no public comment period on the settlement as there is no injunctive relief on the in the stipulation of judgment filed. More details on the settlement are available on the agency’s website here.