Chicago —(ENEWSPF)—February 5, 2018
By: Rosemary Piser
Attorney Lisa Madigan joined 10 other State Attorneys General filing an amicus brief opposing the elimination of $3 million in funding for clean air projects from a proposed settlement between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Harley-Davidson. The proposed settlement stems from a complaint filed by the DOJ on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) arguing that Harley-Davidson manufactured and sold “tuners” that once installed, caused motorcycles to emit excess amounts of certain harmful air pollutants, including hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.
The original settlement agreement required Harley-Davidson to:
- stop selling non-compliant tuners,
- offer to buy back such tuners remaining in dealer inventory,
- pay a civil penalty of $12 million, and
- fund a $3 million project to reduce air pollution by retrofitting or replacing higher polluting wood-burning appliances such as woodstoves.
In July 2017, the DOJ proposed a nearly identical alternate settlement but it excluded the $3 million air pollution project. DOJ stated the project was removed from the settlement due to a new policy issued by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that prohibits federal settlements from including payments to third parties.
In the brief, Madigan and the other Attorneys General argue the policy does not apply to projects which directly remedy the harm caused by pollution emission, such as the pollution from non-compliant Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
Madigan and the other Attorneys General are asking the court reject the proposed settlement until the $3 million air emission project is restored or replaced with a substantially equivalent mitigation project.
Joining Madigan in filing the brief were the Attorneys General from: the District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, as well as the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in Washington.
View the amicus brief here.