H&S Performance Clean Air Act Settlement | US EPA (2024)

(Washington, DC – January 19, 2015)

On this page:

  • Overview of Company
  • Violations
  • Compliance Measures
  • Pollutant Impacts
  • Health Effects and Environmental Benefits
  • Civil Penalty
  • Comment Period
  • Contacts

Overview of Companies

H&S Performance, LLC (H&S), located in St. George, Utah, was a high-volume purveyor of aftermarket “defeat devices” intended to alter the vehicle emissions control technology in diesel pickup trucks manufactured by Dodge, Ford and General Motors. H&S sold defeat devices such as performance tuners, exhaust replacement pipes and exhaust gas recirculation delete kits. Aftermarket defeat devices work by altering an engine’s fueling strategy or mechanically bypassing motor vehicle emissions controls required under the Clean Air Act.

Violations

The Clean Air Act prohibits the sale and installation of devices that alter emission controls for motor vehicles from their original certified configuration. H&S violated Title II of the Clean Air Act, 42U.S.C. §§7521–7554, particularly the defeat device prohibitions of section 203(a)(3)(B), 42 U.S.C. §§ 7522(a)(3)(B). H&S manufactured or sold 114,436 defeat devices intended for use in diesel trucks (heavy duty and light heavy duty motor vehicles).

Compliance Measures

Under the terms of the settlement, H&S must:

  • Cease manufacture and sale of all defeat devices.
  • Destroy all defeat devices remaining in inventory.
  • Not sell or transfer any intellectual property used to design or manufacture defeat devices.
  • Mitigate past excessive emissions by spending $400,000 to replace, retrofit or upgrade inefficient wood-burning appliances in a geographical area of the United States designated as nonattainment for particulate matter. A minimum of $100,000 shall be allocated to upgrade appliances in low-income households. EPA was unable to mitigate all excessive emissions as H&S has ceased business operations and is unable to pay for additional mitigation.

Pollutant Impacts

The Clean Air Act aims to reduce emissions from mobile sources of air pollution, including carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHC), particularly particulate matter (PM). “Mobile sources” is a term used to describe a wide variety of vehicles, engines, and equipment that generate air pollution and that move, or can be moved, from place to place. Mobile sources of air pollution contribute approximately 73 percent of the nation’s carbon monoxide emissions and 58 percent of the nation’s oxides of nitrogen emissions.

These pollutants pose significant health and environmental concerns. CO is a poisonous gas that forms when carbon in fuel does not burn completely. CO is harmful because it reduces oxygen delivery to the body’s organs and tissues. It is most harmful to those who suffer from heart and respiratory disease. High CO pollution levels also affect healthy people. Symptoms may include visual impairment, headache, and reduced work capacity.

NOx form when fuel burns at high temperatures. NOx can travel long distances, causing a variety of health and environmental problems in locations far from their emissions source. These problems include ozone and smog. NOx also contribute to the formation of PM through chemical reactions in the atmosphere, and PM can cause asthma, difficult or painful breathing, and chronic bronchitis, especially in children and the elderly. NMHC emissions result from incomplete fuel combustion and fuel evaporation. NMHC are a precursor to ground-level ozone, a serious air pollutant in cities across the United States. Ground-level ozone, a key component of smog, is formed by reactions involving hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen in the presence of sunlight. Ground-level ozone causes health problems such as difficulty breathing, lung damage, and reduced cardiovascular functioning. A number of NMHC are also considered toxic, meaning they can cause cancer or other health problems.

Health and Environmental Benefits

The use of H&S defeat devices in diesel pickup trucks resulted in significant increases in NOx, CO, NMHC, and PM. The settlement removes the H&S supply of defeat devices into commerce, prevents the dissemination of defeat device technology, and offsets some excess emissions attributed to the use of the H&S defeat devices.

Civil Penalty

H&S must pay a $1 million civil penalty, which is solely based on H&S’s demonstrated inability to pay a greater penalty. H&S must pay $400,000 of its civil penalty in January 2016 and the remaining $600,000 plus interest by December 2016.

The proposed settlement, lodged in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a 30-day public comment period and final court approval. Information on submitting comments is available at the Department of Justice website.

Contacts

Kathryn Pirrotta Caballero
Air Enforcement Division
Office of Civil Enforcement
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20460
(202) 564-1849

caballero.kathryn@epa.gov

Tony Miller
Air Enforcement Division
Office of Civil Enforcement
Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance
Western Field Office (8MSU)
1595 Wynkoop Street, Rm 2222
Denver, Colorado 80202
(303) 312-7161
miller.anthony@epa.gov

H&S Performance Clean Air Act Settlement | US EPA (2024)
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