The Trump Administration decision to rescind the requirement of an earlier settlement that would have seen Harley-Davidson required to spend $3 million on air pollution reduction work — relating to the earlier marketing of illegal after-market devices/tuners — is now being challenged by a coalition of 10 US states and the District of Columbia.
To explain, the motorcycle manufacturer agreed back in 2016 to pay a $12 million civil fine and to spend $3 million on air pollution reduction work (relating to outdated wood-burning appliances apparently) as part of a settlement stemming from the company’s sale of illegal after-market devices that allow for illegally high emissions levels.
Reuters provides more:
“The Justice Department in July cited a new policy by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and an ongoing review of the penalty by a government auditor in proposing to drop the $3 million penalty from the settlement…US District Judge Emmet Sullivan must still deicide whether to approve the revised agreement.
“The Harley-Davidson settlement resolved allegations that Harley sold about 340,000 ‘super tuners’ enabling motorcycles since 2008 to pollute the air at levels greater than what the company certified. Harley-Davidson did not admit liability, and said previously it disagreed with the government, arguing that the tuners were designed and sold to be used in ‘competition only.'”
A convenient way to possibly avoid technical responsibility for the illegally high emissions, but not to truly convince anyone with a pulse.
Continuing: “Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, joined by Massachusetts, New York, Washington State, and others, said Sessions’ new policy ‘does not apply to projects like the wood stove mitigation project that directly remedies the harm caused by pollutants emitted by the non-compliant Harley-Davidson motorcycles.'”
“The states and the Obama administration said the $3 million wood stove mitigation project would offset additional air pollution caused by the motorcycles’ emissions of excess hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.”
That all sounds fairly reasonable to my ears as well. Harley-Davidson skirted the law and caused public harm via illegally high emissions, and it’s only right for that harm to paid for in efforts to clean up the air.