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Navistar, EPA ruling still under fire

Jason Cannon October 22, 2013

Navistar may have been victorious in a court ruling that declined to revoke its engine emissions certificates, but the battle is far from over.

Rival truck manufacturers returned to court Tuesday to argue that U.S. EPA violated its own regulations in issuing the certificates in the first place.

The complainants, which include Daimler Trucks North America, Mack Trucks and Volvo Group North America, are challenging the EPA, claiming they wrongly granted Navistar permission to manufacture and sell non-complaint engines while paying a fine.

Daimler, Mack and Volvo say Navistar benefited from the certificates at the expense its competitors, who pumped millions of dollars into the research, development and engineering of SCR engines that met tightening emissions standards while Navistar was allowed to sell non-compliant engines and assessed a penalty of $1,919 per truck.

According to Energy & Environment, attorney Chris Handman argued on behalf of the group Tuesday that the EPA could not consider the company’s previous work in making its decision, and that when the agency rewrote its regulations, it should have allowed for public comment.

D.C. Circuit agreed that the process should have been open to public comment, but the court dismissed Friday the case asking that the certificates be voided.

E&E reports the EPA determined that “substantial work” was required for Navistar to meet the emissions limits by looking back to when the agency issued its 2001 standard. Based on that standard, and with Navistar floundering to catch emissions standards, the agency granted the certificates.

At issue is the definition of “substantial work.”

Daimler and its peers claim the term refers only to Navistar’s future efforts to meet compliance standards. And, since Navistar has implemented Cummins SCR technology, meeting the standard didn’t require “substantial work” on the company’s part, Handman argued.

The three judges did not reach a conclusion Tuesday.

If the court ultimately decides to void the EPA certificates, Navistar could be exposed to civil lawsuits and fines over the emissions of non-compliant engines.

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