New, cleaner tugboat nearing to service ships in Port of Port Arthur

Published 12:06 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Justice Department recently announced that Japan-based Tadano Ltd. and its subsidiaries – collectively known as the Tadano Group – will pay a $40 million civil penalty to resolve allegations that it violated Title II of the Clean Air Act.

The Justice Department worked with the Environmental Protection Agency to broker the settlement, which resolves allegations in a complaint filed with the settlement that Tadano Group imported and sold heavy, nonroad cranes with diesel engines not certified to applicable CAA emission standards, and that Tadano Group violated related CAA and regulatory requirements.

As part of the proposed consent decree, Tadano Group will also contribute $3.2 million towards a project to mitigate harm caused by excess nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions from its noncompliant crane engines.

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The project will retire a 1975 tugboat and christen a new, cleaner tugboat to service ships in the Port of Port Arthur.

The old tugboat has outdated diesel engines, while the new tugboat will have up-to-date, Tier 4 engines, preventing the release of an estimated 2,075 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions and more than 22 tons of particulate matter emissions over 20 years.

“This settlement holds Tadano accountable for its violations and requires completion of a project that will improve the quality of life for those living in the Port Arthur, Texas, area,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

The complaint against Tadano Group alleges that between 2011 and 2017, it sold nonroad cranes with at least 269 diesel engines that violated the CAA because the engines were not covered by current EPA-issued certificates of conformity nor did the engines qualify for a limited exemption under EPA’s Transition Program for Equipment Manufacturers.