Same Day Fine, Approval for California Fuel Additive Maker

Thursday, Jan 7, 2010  |  Updated 3:18 PM PDT
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Same Day Fine, Approval for California Fuel Additive Maker

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COVINA, California, November 4, 2008 (ENS) - The Biofriendly Corporation, based in Covina, California has agreed to pay an unprecedented fine of $1.25 million for manufacturing and selling an unregistered fuel additive in Texas and California.

Green Plus® liquid combustion catalyst is the additive that Biofriendly markets as reducing harmful emissions by improving fuel combustion and fuel efficiency. Biofriendly is being fined for selling the additive between September 2002 and May 2006 although it was not registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

"This is the largest penalty ever levied for violation of the Clean Air Act's registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives," said Granta Nakayama, assistant administrator for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance at the EPA.

Yet on the same day, Monday, Biofriendly announced that the EPA has approved new product registrations for its Green Plus® liquid combustion catalyst after an exhaustive two year review.

Biofriendly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Carroll said, "EPA recognized the potential value of Green Plus and worked tirelessly with company scientists to get the product approved and into commerce."

The fine was levied because the EPA review revealed an alleged error in the filing of Biofriendly's product registration. The claim was that Biofriendly failed to properly describe all of the constituents of the Green Plus product when it was originally registered in 2001.

Biofriendly disputed the allegation, but in order to move forward and get back into the market as quickly as possible, the EPA and Biofriendly agreed to a consent decree settlement, allowing Biofriendly to pay the $1.25 million fine for the administrative dispute while admitting no liability.

"This was a difficult situation for both the EPA and Biofriendly," said Carroll, "and we are very pleased to have moved beyond this distraction and get back to what we do best - innovating to make the planet greener."

"Green Plus is a highly effective solution to the world's environmental challenges. I would like to thank the members of our team and EPA for working together so effectively to make sure that no stone was left unturned while resolving this issue," he said. "We take pride in our product and in the manner in which we do business."

When Biofriendly discovered it was in violation of the law, it stopped selling Green Plus domestically, but now those sales will resume. Biofriendly operates in the United States and internationally, manufacturing, selling, and distributing fuel additives and fuels that contain additives.

The Clean Air Act requires that motor vehicle fuels and fuel additives meet EPA's environmental standards before they can be distributed. At a minimum, companies must provide EPA with information on the chemical composition and structure of the additive, and may also be required to test products before obtaining EPA registration.

"The fuel additive requirements of the Clean Air Act are a critical part of EPA's program to reduce air pollution," said Nakayama.

The agreement was lodged Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.

Carroll also said Biofriendly is pleased to have fully resolved a complaint brought against the company when a competitor presented false and unsubstantiated information to the EPA in November 2005. The competitor’s claims were found to be baseless.

Under development for 15 years, Green Plus liquid fuel combustion catalyst is added in very small quantities to fuel in order to create what Carroll calls "a more complete, cooler and more linear burn."

Green Plus is designed for use in diesel, gasoline and other hydrocarbon-based fuels. It acts by unbundling complex hydrocarbon chains, allowing more exposure to oxygen molecules, creating a more complete burn of the hydrocarbon chains.

The result of a more complete fuel burn is a reduction of emissions and increased fuel efficiency.

With larger ships, trucking companies and cities, the Green Plus product is added to the bulk fuel tank so that treatment is done at the pump. The bottled product can also be added to individual vehicles.

Now available commercially worldwide, the product has undergone testing in the United States, Europe and Asia, and has over four billion miles of on-road and on-ocean use. {Photo: 18-wheeler at a rest area between San Francisco and Los Angeles by Mahesh Mohite}

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2008. All rights reserved.

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