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Press Release

Tadano Group to Pay $40 Million to Settle Clean Air Act Violations After Selling Noncompliant Diesel Engines

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Group Will Also Help Mitigate Harmful Air Emissions by Contributing $3.2 Million to Christen a New, Cleaner Tugboat for the Port of Port Arthur, Texas

The Justice Department today announced that Japan-based Tadano Ltd. and its subsidiaries – collectively known as the Tadano Group – will pay a $40 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that it violated Title II of the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Justice Department worked with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to broker the settlement, which resolves allegations in a complaint filed with the settlement that Tadano Group imported and sold heavy, nonroad cranes with diesel engines not certified to applicable CAA emission standards, and that Tadano Group violated related CAA and regulatory requirements. 

As part of the proposed consent decree, Tadano Group will also contribute $3.2 million towards a project to mitigate harm caused by excess nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) emissions from its noncompliant crane engines. The project will retire a 1975 tugboat and christen a new, cleaner tugboat to service ships in the Port of Port Arthur, Texas. The old tugboat has outdated diesel engines while the new tugboat will have up-to-date, Tier 4 engines, preventing the release of an estimated 2,075 tons of NOx emissions and more than 22 tons of PM emissions over 20 years. The Port of Port Arthur is near low-income communities with environmental justice concerns and near the Tadano America Corp. facility in Houston.

“Tadano Group imported and sold giant cranes with engines that didn’t carry valid EPA certificates of conformity, flouting federal law that protects the public from harmful emissions,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “This settlement holds Tadano accountable for its violations and requires completion of a project that will improve the quality of life for those living in the Port Arthur, Texas, area.”

“Diesel exhaust is one of the dirtiest forms of pollution,” said Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann of the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “Exposure to diesel exhaust is linked to serious health conditions, including asthma and respiratory illness, and those health risks are increased by engines that fail to meet emission standards. This settlement should send a clear message that EPA will continue to vigorously enforce against companies that sell illegal diesel engines, including nonroad engines.”

The complaint against Tadano Group alleges that between 2011 and 2017, it sold nonroad cranes with at least 269 diesel engines that violated the CAA because the engines were not covered by current EPA-issued certificates of conformity nor did the engines qualify for a limited exemption under EPA’s Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers. The Tadano Group also did not comply with CAA reporting, bonding and fuel inlet labelling requirements. The Tadano Group includes Germany-based Tadano Faun GmbH, Tennessee-based Tadano Mantis Corp. and Texas-based Tadano America Corp.

The Environment and Natural Resources Division’s Environmental Enforcement Section filed the complaint and lodged the proposed consent decree in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The settlement is subject to a public comment period and final court approval. The consent decree will be available for viewing on the Justice Department’s website at www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees.

Updated April 5, 2024

Topic
Environment
Press Release Number: 23-944