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The current head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was recently quoted as saying that the department would continue to "very aggressively" pursue action against auto manufacturers involved in diesel vehicle emissions testing fraud into the foreseeable future.

Clean Transport

US EPA To Pursue Diesel Vehicle Emissions Fraud “Very Aggressively,” Agency Head Scott Pruitt Says

The current head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was recently quoted as saying that the department would continue to “very aggressively” pursue action against auto manufacturers involved in diesel vehicle emissions testing fraud into the foreseeable future.

The current head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was recently quoted as saying that the department would continue to “very aggressively” pursue action against auto manufacturers involved in diesel vehicle emissions testing fraud into the foreseeable future.

Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt, charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States over the company’s diesel emissions scandal is shown in this booking photo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., provided January 9, 2017. Courtesy of Broward County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via REUTERS

Whatever one may think about Pruitt’s installation as the new head of the US EPA, it doesn’t appear that there will be many changes forthcoming as regards litigation against auto manufacturers committing diesel vehicle emissions testing fraud, if you take Pruitt’s word for it.

“What VW did was very, very troublesome and we need to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Pruitt was quoted as telling Reuters. He also noted that aggressive actions were needed in order to deter future fraud: “Look at VW, and Fiat — you have this Fiat case that is on the horizon as well. The emails and the communications that I’m aware of — it was strategic and intentional and should be dealt with very aggressively.”

Asked about the Obama Administration’s actions with regard to the Volkswagen diesel emissions cheating scandal, Pruitt stated: “I wouldn’t call what was done too light at all.”

Reuters provides a bit more: “Reuters reported in May the Justice Department and EPA obtained internal Fiat emails and other documents written in Italian that look at engine development and emissions issues and that raise significant questions. The Justice Department suit in May named Fiat Chrysler’s unit VM Motori SpA, which designed the engine in question.

“Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said in June the automaker has been working with EPA for months and ‘is confident of the fact that there was no intention on our part to set up a defeat device that was even remotely similar to what (Volkswagen) had in their cars.'”

With regard to the interview with Pruitt, something that he said that was particularly interesting was his comment that the EPA is not currently reviewing California’s waiver under the Clean Air Act to set its own vehicle emissions rules.

“We’ve reached out to the California governor as part of our CAFE midterm review in 2018. I’m hopeful that the state of California, the governor there, will respond with reciprocity and we are working through that process,” Pruitt stated.

 
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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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