National Compliance Initiatives

EPA provides more detailed guidance on aftermarket safe zones while continuing to drive forward enforcement initiatives.

By Arthur F. Foerster

In 2019, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its “National Compliance Initiatives” (NCIs) for years 2020-2023. EPA sets NCIs for what the agency believes are “the most serious environmental violations.”[1] One of those NCIs is to eradicate aftermarket defeat devices on emissions control systems for vehicles and engines. In the last few years, EPA has dedicated increased enforcement resources to pursue those who violate the defeat device and tampering prohibitions found in Section 203(a)(3) of the Clean Air Act (CAA).[2] Even with the pandemic, EPA has resolved more than twenty aftermarket “defeat device” and tampering enforcement cases.[3] EPA personnel recently released a report that estimates emissions controls have been removed from more than 550,000 diesel pickup trucks in the last decade, resulting in more than a half-million excess tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).[4] EPA’s enforcement efforts are expected to continue.