Navistar to pay $52M to settle drawn-out EPA suit

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Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021:

Navistar settles long-lasting EPA suit

Navistar has agreed to pay a $52 million civil fine and to mitigate at least 10,000 tons of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emissions to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act.

The Environmental Protection Agency filed the lawsuit against Navistar in 2015, alleging that the manufacturer illegally installed 7,749 engines that were not covered by EPA-issued certificates of conformity, violating EPA emissions standards. Navistar issued the following statement about the resolution of the case:

"In July 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) filed a complaint against Navistar, Inc. alleging that the company failed to obtain Clean Air Act certificates of conformity from the agency because some of its model year 2009 compliant engines completed assembly in 2010 and should have been subject to 2010 applicable emissions standards. In 2017, the EPA was granted partial judgement when the court ruled that diesel engines Navistar, Inc. sold in 2010 were not covered by its 2009 certificate of conformity for 7,749 heavy-duty diesel engines it manufactured and sold.

On October 22, 2021, Navistar, the Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signed a definitive settlement agreement regarding the case.  The settlement requires a penalty payment of $52M and a mitigation project in which Navistar will purchase and destroy older diesel engines over a four-year period to prevent 10,000 tons of NOx emissions.  Navistar is pleased to put this legacy issue behind us and eager to focus on transportation solutions for the future."

EPA alleged that Navistar marketed the engines in International trucks as being EPA-compliant 2009 model-year engines, even though the engines were built in 2010. The court held that the engines were in fact 2010-model engines and required to be covered by a 2010 certificate of conformity demonstrating compliance with the 2010 regulations.

Under the terms of the settlement, Navistar will pay a civil penalty of $52 million, forfeit its current account of NOx credits, and purchase and destroy enough older diesel engines to prevent 10,000 tons of future NOx emissions.

The settlement also requires Navistar to structure its mitigation of NOx emissions through one or more programs approved by EPA that will take into consideration geographic diversity and benefits to communities that are overburdened by air pollution.

Navistar will report back to the EPA on its implementation of the program to ensure compliance with the environmental justice and geographic distribution requirements in the consent decree. 

[Related: EPA sues Navistar, alleging company violated emissions standards laws]

New dealership group forms in Oklahoma, Texas

Summit Truck Group, Rush Enterprises, and Navistar, in cooperation with fellow Navistar International Truck and IC Bus dealers Southwest International and Kyrish Truck Centers, have reached an agreement to move toward strengthening the Navistar dealership network to meet customer needs in Oklahoma and Texas.

Summit has agreed to sell all of its commercial vehicle dealership assets to subsidiaries of Rush Enterprises. Summit, Rush and Navistar mutually agreed to allow Summit CEO Justin Fink, in partnership with Southwest International and Kyrish Truck Centers, to purchase Summit's dealerships in Oklahoma and its International Truck area of responsibility in the area around Wichita Falls, Texas. 

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The new dealership group will tentatively be branded Peak Truck and Trailer. Fink will become the Dealer Principal and CEO of Peak Truck and Trailer serving the Oklahoma markets. He will establish the support team for the new dealer group.  

Additionally, within two to three years, Peak Truck and Trailer, Southwest International and Kyrish Truck Centers intend to merge their respective dealerships into one single business and dealer group serving Texas and Oklahoma. This group will include over 20 locations in major markets such as Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Fort Worth, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

"The decision to form the new International Truck and IC Bus dealership group Peak Truck and Trailer will be invaluable to regional customers in Oklahoma and Texas," said Mark Belisle, Group Vice President, Dealer Sales and Operations, Navistar. "The eventual merger of these dealerships will create a powerhouse in the South – attracting the highest quality talent and utilizing resources to provide best-in-class service and support."

Summit, Southwest International and Kyrish Truck Centers have owned and operated a business together over the past five years called Peak Trailer Group, primarily a Wabash trailer dealership group with locations in Dallas, San Antonio and El Paso, Texas. The ownership structure of Peak Trailer is also changing, as Summit is planning to divest its ownership to existing owners Southwest International, Kyrish and Justin Fink. Bobby Briggs, current president of Peak Trailer Group, is being appointed to CEO. 

Carbon Express, Mack exec, more recognized by ATA

A FedEx Freight driver, a liquid bulk carrier based in New Jersey, a state trucking association, and a truck manufacturer executive were honored for their work to put trucking in a positive light during the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition in Nashville.

ATA presented four Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards to:

  • Carbon Express for their work to improve their drivers’ quality of life, outreach to the community through social media, and their work with America’s Road Team;
  • The Indiana Motor Truck Association for their work to promote safe driving by working with state officials on several anti-distracted driving campaigns;
  • America’s Road Team Captain Wayne Crowder, a professional driver with FedEx Freight, for his work promoting the industry’s image;
  • And John Walsh, vice president of marketing at Mack Trucks, for his role in helping ATA advance the cause of safety through its show trucks, including the Share the Road and Workforce Heroes trucks

First awarded in 2007, the Mike Russell Trucking Image award is given to an individual, motor carrier, trucking organization, and industry supplier who each demonstrate excellence in illustrating the industry's essentiality, professionalism, and commitment to safety on and off the highways.

"Since 2007, the Mike Russell Trucking Image Awards have shone a light on the great work our carriers, associations, and most of all, drivers do in promoting the image of the trucking industry,” said Incoming ATA Chair Harold Sumerford Jr., CEO of J&M Tank Lines Inc. “This year’s winners have all gone above and beyond to show just how safe, professional and essential trucking is.”