WASHINGTON (AP) -- About 200,000 imported chainsaws violated U.S. air pollution laws, the Justice Department said Thursday, costing a Taiwanese manufacturer and three U.S. companies $2 million in fines.
The companies also agreed to spend $5 million on three projects that will reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants and more than offset the excess hydrocarbon emitted from the chainsaws, the department said.
The Taiwanese firm, Jenn Feng Industrial Company, manufactured the engines while its U.S. subsidiary, McCulloch Corp., based in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., obtained certificates from the Environmental Protection Agency that the engines conformed with the Clean Air Act.
MTD Products, based in Tuscon, Ariz., and a subsidiary imported and distributed the engines in the United States, the department said.
The chainsaw engines did not conform to the specifications provided by McCulloch, Justice said. About 100,000 of the chainsaws have been sold through Sears, Troy-Bilt and McCulloch retail outlets, the department said. Sears is owned by Sears Holdings Co.
The companies agreed to pay for energy-saving streetlights in certain cities and to install special fuel lines that will reduce carbon emissions in 1 million engines used in lawn mowers and other garden equipment.
Ronald Tenpas, assistant attorney general, said the projects should reduce carbon emissions by four times the excess amount emitted by the chainsaws.