U.S. Sues Coltec and NASSCO for Uncertified Marine Engines

The United States filed a civil complaint recently against Coltec Industries Inc., a subsidiary of EnPro Industries Inc., and the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO), a subsidiary of General Dynamics Corp. The complaint was filed Sept. 30 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under the Clean Air Act and the marine diesel engine rules issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department and EPA announced.

The complaint, the first federal court action brought by the United States under the marine diesel engine rules, alleges that Coltec’s Fairbanks Morse Engine Division (FME) violated the act by manufacturing and selling 32 marine engines that were not covered by an EPA-issued certificate of conformity and that NASSCO violated the act by installing those engines in ships it built and sold in the United States. The complaint further alleges that the 32 uncertified FME engines, plus eight more FME sold to NASSCO, had missing or defective emissions-compliance labels required by EPA’s rules.

The complaint further alleges that NASSCO also violated the act by manufacturing and selling ships containing several additional engines lacking EPA-issued certificates of conformity, including four propulsion engines manufactured by MAN B&W Diesel A.G., a German company, and installed in an oil tanker, the BP Alaskan Adventurer, and two emergency generator engines installed in other ships that NASSCO sold in the United States.

The Clean Air Act prohibits marine diesel engines (also called compression-ignition engines) from being manufactured or sold in the United States unless covered by a "certificate of conformity" indicating that the engine meets applicable emission standards.

The lawsuit is part of an ongoing effort to ensure that marine compression-ignition engines comply with the Clean Air Act’s emissions standards and certification requirements.

The complaint seeks civil penalties, as well as actions by the companies to remedy the violations and to mitigate any excess pollutant emissions caused by the violations.

Non-road engines, including marine compression-ignition engines, emit carbon monoxide, as well as volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, or smog. Exposure to even low levels of ozone can cause respiratory problems, and repeated exposure can aggravate pre-existing respiratory diseases.