Pep Boys to pay $5 million for violation of Clean Air Act

Philadelphia-based national automotive aftermarket and service chain Pep Boys has agreed to pay $5 million in civil penalties for importing and selling Chinese motorcycles, recreational vehicles and engines that did not comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements. The case is the largest ever brought by the government under the Clean Air Act.

“Equipment imported into the United States that does not meet our pollution control rules is bad for human health and the environment, and unfair to those companies that play by the rules,” the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance said in a statement.

The supplier of the ATVs and other vehicles, Baja Inc., has also settled with the federal government and has agreed to pay $25,000 in fines.

“Pep Boys strives to be a good corporate citizen,” said General Counsel, Brian Zuckerman. “Unfortunately, in this circumstance, we relied upon our vendors to ensure that their products were compliant. We now take it upon ourselves to ensure that all of our small-engine merchandise fully complies with the Clean Air Act.”

The complaint alleged that Pep Boys and supplier Baja imported at least 241,000 illegal vehicles and engines between 2004 and 2009. The totals sales resulted in 620 tons of excess hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions and more than 6,520 tons of carbon monoxide emissions, which in plain English is really bad for the environment.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: LATimes