The long story with a colossal fine imposed on Harley Davidson by the US EPA is finally coming to an end.
In 2016, the agency ordered HD to pay a $ 15 million fine for selling engine tuning equipment that could result in dirtier exhaust emissions. In 2017, the fine was reduced to 3 million, which led to rumors and criticism.
The initial decision was as follows: HD should pay a $ 12 million fine as punishment, stop selling said devices and destroy all their stock in warehouses and production. An additional 3 million Harley Davidson were required to spend to support an air pollution project run by the American Lung Association, a public organization that advocates for citizens’ right to clean air. The essence of the project is to modernize wood-burning stoves in the northwestern United States to reduce air pollution.
Harley Davidson’s colossal fine story
In 2017, the US Department of Justice decided to remove the support clause from the ruling due to the fact that the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions introduced a new policy prohibiting the inclusion in court orders of the need to make payments in favor of third parties, including public organizations.
This led to the 10 states, DC, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, and Conservation Act Foundation joining forces in 2018 to create an environmental team. The argument for creating the team was that the implementation of the furnace modernization project is designed to reduce the damage that would be caused by the use of illegal engine tuning, and the payment of a part of the fine to such a team would be legal in the new realities.
The Department of Justice, in turn, said that these devices would increase harmful emissions throughout the country, and not just in the region where it is planned to modernize the stoves, and that the government tried to discuss with Harley Davidson their participation in another environmental project, but so far they have not come to a mutually acceptable solution succeeded, and it was decided to continue without such a project.
It is not known exactly what steps were taken, and what were the proposals from the Ministry of Justice. But on September 18, 2020, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan formally signed an agreement between Harley Davidson and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The adoption of the Third Party Payments Policy clearly put the United States at a disadvantage in terms of redefining the mitigation project, but the Court does not consider the resulting agreement to be procedurally unfair, given that the United States held that the adopted Policy should be applied and to this agreement, – wrote the judge in the explanation of his decision.
Translated from legal into Russian, this apparently means that since US lawmakers have banned as punishment to impose payments in favor of third-party organizations, this applies to everyone, including Harley Davidson, even though now Harley pay less.