Environmental Regulations Require Compliance

The recent revelation about automobile maker Volkswagen’s deliberate manipulation of air pollution controls on some of their diesel engine automobiles is a stunner. Who would have thought? Without a doubt, they fell into a trap that other companies have – that sometimes awkward attempt to balance a desire to please stakeholders, maintain profits and all the while profess that environmental regulations mean everything to them. We have seen this particular aspect before; where pollution control equipment is available but a decision is made to either not use it or to circumvent it for the sake of minimizing operating costs. But as the recently known VW episode unfolds, we will see that their decision to manipulate pollution controls in the short term will ultimately be far more costly in the long term and will present lasting damage to their credibility. Unfortunately, US regulators fairly consistently uncover manipulations and dodges by companies who attempt to and sometimes successfully conceal non-compliance. The Federal environmental regulations (40 CFR) that pertain to environmental pollution are clear – those convicted of violation of regulations face not only fines but prison time as well. It is obviously not worth the risk.

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