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Husqvarna Professional Products fined more than $1 million by ARB

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The California Air Resources Board (ARB) yesterday announced that it has fined a manufacturer of hand-held consumer products for violating California air pollution control laws. Husqvarna Professional Products agreed to pay $1,038,000 for selling uncertified, small off-road engines in the state.

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Bakersfield and San Joaquin Valley property owners may not realize it, but when they (or their gardeners) use non-electric power tools to prune their trees, trim their bushes, and clean up those trimmings during gardening chores, the air pollution from those tools is a significant contributor to smog in the Valley. Because of those emissions, the manufacturers of such equipment must comply with stringent regulations that apply to off-road engines.

The San Joaquin Valley has some of the nation's worst ambient air quality. The region currently fails to meet several state and federal clean air standards.

ARB investigators found that Husqvarna failed to obtain certification for engines used in 2011 to 2013 model year products such as line trimmers, chainsaws, and leaf blowers. The violations applied to nine different engine families.

In announcing the settlement, ARB enforcement Chief James Ryden noted that “Husqvarna promptly conducted an internal investigation and fully cooperated in the resolution of this matter,” but added that “violations of the basic elements of California’s anti-pollution requirements, especially certification of engines prior to sale in our state, have serious consequences.”

Husqvarna has implemented new internal procedures to help ensure that all future engines meet certification requirements before being sold in California.