Air Board Reaches $200,000 Settlement With Garden Equipment Manufacturer
For immediate release
SACRAMENTO – John Deere Consumer Products, Inc. has agreed to a settlement with the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) worth approximately $200,000 for selling lawn and garden power equipment in California that did not meet the state's air quality standards.
ARB Chairman Dr. Alan Lloyd said: "The settlement gives the state the benefit of increased emission reductions now while accelerating the implementation of new, cleaner technology that may not have emerged as quickly."
The agreement stipulates that half of the settlement money will sponsor an exchange program starting in September 2001, where similar but more polluting equipment, no matter what company built it, can be traded for new, cleaner equipment. ARB expects about one thousand older pieces of equipment to be exchanged. The remaining settlement funds will go into the state's Air Pollution Control Fund, which finances emission reductions from a variety of sources throughout California.
The settlement also requires Deere to offer to exchange the 40,000 non-compliant weed-trimmers and leaf-blowers it sold in California during the first half of 2001 for new equipment that meets the state's emission standards. To facilitate the exchange, the company will notify consumers who registered their equipment with Deere as well as posting information about the exchange program at service centers and dealerships. Finally, Deere must make up the excess emissions released by the non-compliant engines by selling equipment for one year that are cleaner than required by the state's present emission regulations.
The infraction was found as part of a routine ARB inspection of the John Deere facilities in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was determined that the company was not properly performing all the required quality control checks. This led to equipment being sold in California with engines that exceed hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter emission standards.
The ARB adopted its first lawn and garden equipment rules in 1990. Engines meeting ARB's standards for handheld equipment emit approximately 80 percent less hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen than those produced before the standards became effective.
Information about the exchange programs will be posted on the John Deere website: http://www.johndeere.com.