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April 13
1935 - Gladys Carter convicted of manslaughter in fatal shooting of Frances Walker, of the Placerita Walkers [story]
Gladys Carter


The Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the State of California announced Thursday a settlement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V., FCA US, and affiliates (Fiat Chrysler) for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and California law.

Fiat Chrysler has agreed to implement a recall program to repair more than 100,000 noncompliant diesel vehicles sold or leased in the United States, offer an extended warranty on repaired vehicles, and pay a civil penalty of $305 million to settle claims of cheating emission tests and failing to disclose unlawful defeat devices.

Fiat Chrysler also will implement a program to mitigate excess pollution from these vehicles. The recall and federal mitigation programs are estimated to cost up to approximately $185 million. In a separate settlement with California, Fiat Chrysler will pay an additional $19 million to mitigate excess emissions from more than 13,000 of the noncompliant vehicles in California. In addition, in a separate administrative agreement with the United States Customs and Border Protection, Fiat Chrysler will pay a $6 million civil penalty to resolve allegations of illegally importing 1,700 noncompliant vehicles.

The Environmental Protection Agency and California settlement (EPA/California Settlement) resolves claims of EPA and California relating to Fiat Chrysler’s use of defeat devices to cheat emission tests. Defeat devices are design elements (in this case software functions) installed in vehicles that reduce the effectiveness of the emission control system during normal on-road driving conditions. The affected vehicles are model year 2014 through 2016 Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles equipped with “EcoDiesel” 3.0 liter engines.

Thursday’s settlement does not resolve any potential criminal liability. The settlement also does not resolve any consumer claims or claims by individual owners or lessees who may have asserted claims in the ongoing multidistrict litigation. In addition to its separate settlement addressing excess emissions for affected vehicles in California, the state of California has also entered into another separate settlement with Fiat Chrysler resolving alleged violations of California consumer protection laws relating to the affected vehicles.

“The Department of Justice is committed to the full and fair enforcement of the laws that protect our nation’s environment,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “Fiat Chrysler broke those laws and this case demonstrates that steep penalties await corporations that engage in such egregious violations. Assistant Attorney General Jeff Clark, and his team in the Environment and Natural Resources Division, are to be commended for securing significant relief in this case for the American people.”

“Fiat Chrysler deceived consumers and the federal government by installing defeat devices on these vehicles that undermined important clean air protections,” said EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “Today’s settlement sends a clear and strong signal to manufacturers and consumers that EPA will vigorously enforce the nation’s laws designed to protect the environment and public health.”

As alleged in the civil complaint filed by the United States Justice Department on behalf of EPA on May 23, 2017, Fiat Chrysler equipped over 100,000 EcoDiesel Ram 1500 and Jeep Grand Cherokee vehicles (Model Years 2014-2016) sold in the United States with illegal and undisclosed software that causes the emission control system to operate differently during emission control tests than when it is driven on the road. When the vehicle is being tested for compliance with EPA or California emission standards, the software activates full emission controls. In contrast, during real world driving, the software features reduce or deactivate emission controls, reducing the effectiveness of the vehicles’ emission control systems. The United States alleged that one or more of these software features, as configured in Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles, are defeat devices. The result is vehicles that meet emission standards during standard regulatory testing, but that emit air pollutants, including oxides of nitrogen (NOx), at a higher rate when the vehicles are on the road, much higher than the EPA and California emission standards allow. NOx pollution contributes to harmful ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter, pollutants associated with a range of serious health effects, including asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses, and other respiratory-related or cardiovascular-related effects, including damage to lung tissue and premature death.

EPA discovered these defeat devices in Fiat Chrysler’s vehicles during vehicle emission testing EPA performed in 2015 and 2016 at the National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL).

Recall Program and Corporate Reforms

The EPA/California Settlement requires Fiat Chrysler to implement a recall and repair program to remove all defeat devices in the vehicles and replace the vehicles’ software so that they comply with EPA and California emission standards. Fiat Chrysler tested vehicles with the new software and demonstrated to EPA and California that the repaired vehicles will meet the applicable emission standards. EPA and California also tested the repaired vehicles and determined that they perform the same on emission tests as they do under normal driving conditions. Fiat Chrysler must repair at least 85% of the vehicles within two years or face stiff penalties. Fiat Chrysler must offer an extended warranty for vehicles that are repaired. Fiat Chrysler also must test repaired vehicles for five years to ensure the vehicles continue to meet emission standards over time and will pay additional penalties if the vehicles fail to meet those standards.

The settlement further requires Fiat Chrysler to implement corporate governance, organizational and technical process reforms to minimize the likelihood of future Clean Air Act violations, and to hire a compliance auditor for three years to oversee and assess the effectiveness of these reforms.

Mitigation Program

The EPA/California Settlement requires Fiat Chrysler to implement a federal mitigation program to offset the environmental impacts of the non-compliant vehicles by reducing NOx emissions in the atmosphere. Fiat Chrysler will be required to work with one or more vendors of aftermarket catalytic converters to improve the efficiency of 200,000 converters that will be sold in the 47 states that do not already require the use of the California-mandated high efficiency gasoline vehicle catalysts. Such converters are purchased by vehicle owners to replace out-of-warranty catalytic converters. The mitigation program under the EPA/California Settlement is expected to fully mitigate NOx emissions caused by Fiat Chrysler’s violations across the country outside of California. The State of California’s separate mitigation program will fully address excess NOx from affected vehicles in California.

Additional Settlement

The Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee has secured a settlement for consumers with FCA and Bosch. Class members will receive between $990 and $3,075—an aggregate value of over $300 million if all class members participate—plus an extended warranty and an emissions fix also provided for in the EPA/California Settlement. Under California’s separate consumer settlement, FCA also must provide consumers with the relief contained in the PSC agreement. For more information, consumers can go to EcoDieselSettlement.com or call FCA at 1-833-280-4748.

EPA/California Settlement Consent Decree

The EPA/California Settlement Consent Decree will be lodged in federal court in the Northern District of California and there will be a period of 30 days for public notice and comment. The penalty is due within 30 days of the court’s entry of the Consent Decree.

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SCV NewsBreak
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
L.A. County Follows FDA, CDC Recommendation Pausing Use of J&J Vaccine
Out of an abundance of caution, Los Angeles County is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
Tuesday, Apr 13, 2021
Santa Clarita Celebrates The Cube Grand Opening
After a roller coaster of a year, the Santa Clarita Valley’s skating community once again took to the ice to celebrate the grand opening of The Cube, the city of Santa Clarita’s newly rebranded ice rink.
Monday, Apr 12, 2021
April 15: L.A. County to Modify Health Officer Order to Align with State
Los Angeles County Public Health officials will modify the Health Officer Order on Thursday, April 15, to align with changes to the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy regarding indoor live events and performances, private events such as conferences, receptions and meetings, and private informal gatherings.
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Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Out of an abundance of caution, Los Angeles County is following the recommendation of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to pause the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reports that six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual types of blood clots 6 to 13 days after receiving the vaccine.
L.A. County Follows FDA, CDC Recommendation Pausing Use of J&J Vaccine
After a roller coaster of a year, the Santa Clarita Valley’s skating community once again took to the ice to celebrate the grand opening of The Cube, the city of Santa Clarita’s newly rebranded ice rink.
Santa Clarita Celebrates The Cube Grand Opening
1935 - Gladys Carter convicted of manslaughter in fatal shooting of Frances Walker, of the Placerita Walkers [story]
Gladys Carter
Los Angeles County Public Health officials will modify the Health Officer Order on Thursday, April 15, to align with changes to the state Blueprint for a Safer Economy regarding indoor live events and performances, private events such as conferences, receptions and meetings, and private informal gatherings.
April 15: L.A. County to Modify Health Officer Order to Align with State
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 3 new deaths and 411 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as cases in the Santa Clarita Valley now total 27,482 since the pandemic began.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: L.A. County Death Rate Higher for Men Than Women; SCV Cases Total 27,482
Show producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher, and Steven Soderbergh on Monday announced the all-star cast of presenters at the 93rd Oscars, which will air live on ABC on Sunday, April 25, at 5 p.m. PDT.
Academy Reveals All-Star Cast of Presenters for 93rd Oscars Telecast
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has reported 10 productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley aka "Hollywood North" the week of Monday, April 12-18, 2021
Now Filming in SCV: ‘Star Trek Picard,’ ‘Good Trouble,” 8 More Productions
College of the Canyons and Palmdale Oasis Park Recreation Center will begin operating as Los Angeles County-operated COVID-19 vaccination sites in the northern part of the county starting Monday, April 19.
L.A. County to Open Vaccination Sites at COC, in Palmdale; Magic Mountain Site to Close
As of Monday, Los Angeles County residents may apply for financial help to cover funeral expenses through FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program Open to L.A. County Residents
In a 5-4 ruling late Friday night, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California can’t restrict home-based religious gatherings such as prayer meetings and Bible groups.
U.S. Supreme Court Blocks California Restriction on In-Home Religious Gatherings
A consulting firm hired by the city to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a city public health department in Santa Clarita did “not find a compelling case to change the basic structure of public health regulation” in Santa Clarita, according to a 17-page report published Friday as part of the Santa Clarita City Council’s Tuesday meeting agenda.
Report: No Compelling Case for Santa Clarita City Public Health Department
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital will present to the Santa Clarita City Council Tuesday a hospital expansion plan to increase facilities by 200,000 square feet.
City Council to Weigh Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Expansion Plan
The Santa Clarita Valley's COVID-19 vaccination rate has increased by about 5%, as 37% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, according to data through April 4 published by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
SCV COVID-19 Vaccination Rate Increases to 37%
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue
1987 - Ramona Chapel and Red Schoolhouse relocated to Heritage Junction [story]
Red Schoolhouse
1835 - Outlaw and Rocks/Park/High School namesake Tiburcio Vasquez born in Monterey, Calif. [story]
Tiburcio Vasquez
Nearly 100 people gathered in front of the highly anticipated Laemmle 7 in Newhall to officially open the theater to the Santa Clarita Valley community.
Laemmle Officially Opens in Old Town Newhall
The city of Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission recently met to receive an update from city staff about the status of the Pioneer Oil Refinery in Newhall.
Parks Commissioners Asked to Advise on Pioneer Oil Refinery’s Future
A judge’s ruling this week dealt a setback to the Tejon Ranch Co.’s proposed 19,000-unit Centennial development project in the upper northwest corner of Los Angeles County.
Judge Halts Centennial Development Project in Tejon Ranch
The California Community College Athletic Trainers Association has named longtime athletic trainer, and current College of the Canyons associate athletic director, Chad Peters its 2021 Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Chad Peters Named CCCATA 2021 Athletic Trainer of the Year
Los Angeles County Public Health on Friday confirmed 48 new deaths and 752 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 27,432 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: 27,432 Total SCV Cases; County Nears 5 Million Administered Doses
The Santa Clarita City Council Legislative Committee briefly met Thursday morning to recommend that the City Council oppose four pieces of state legislation that would expand the state’s land-use authority.
Council Committee Recommends Opposition to State Land-Use Bills
In an effort to provide kids across the Santa Clarita Valley with a safe place to play and learn over spring break while parents are working, the Boys & Girls Club of SCV holds an annual camp.
Boys & Girls Club Holds Spring Break Camp
In recognition of public safety dispatchers' services, the California Highway Patrol joins other law enforcement agencies to recognize National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week on April 11-17, 2021.
CHP to Honor Public Safety Dispatchers During National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week
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