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The largest carmakers in the US have agreed to pay billions of dollars in fines to the Justice Department for manipulating their own emissions standards, a deal that could lead to a massive reduction in emissions in the coming decades.
The agreement, which is set to be announced in the near future, could make it easier for American carmakers to avoid billions in fines and other penalties from the government, according to a memo from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) that was shared with CNN.
The memo says the agreement will reduce the total amount of fines paid by automakers by more than $10.7 billion, or one-third of the total fine collected in 2016 by the department.
The new deal is the latest example of the way the US is attempting to reduce emissions and avoid paying a steep cost to the US economy.
“The new settlement is a significant milestone for the administration and reflects the strong bipartisan support for addressing climate change,” said US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in a statement.
“The new deal also ensures that our vehicles meet the highest standards necessary to meet the nation’s climate commitments.
In the years ahead, we will continue to invest in clean energy infrastructure and drive down pollution.
The Department of Energy will work closely with automakers and other stakeholders to improve the enforcement of our emission standards.”
In 2016, the Justice department levied nearly $6.6 billion in pollution fines on the top 100 automakers, the most ever for any single company.
The deal will save the companies $2.8 billion a year and will bring them to the level of US automakers in the EPA’s benchmark Clean Air Act of 1990.
The biggest automakers will now only pay a $2 billion fine per year, and the biggest offenders will receive $3.2 billion in reductions in fines.
The agreement with automakers will take effect after they complete their financial commitments to the government.
However, it is unlikely that any of the largest car companies will be able to escape any fines at all.
“This agreement represents a significant step forward in addressing our nation’s emission crisis,” said Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxxy in a prepared statement.
As part of the deal, the companies will have to provide more details about the emissions standards that they will be using to calculate their emissions, and how those standards will be adjusted in the future.
Car companies have been the focus of US government enforcement since the early 1990s.
In addition to fines and fines, the agreement also calls for the departments to: • Conduct an audit of automakers’ vehicles, which has been the source of ongoing legal battles in recent years.
The Justice Department says it will continue pursuing companies to find the most efficient ways to comply with air quality regulations, and will continue targeting those that have the lowest emission levels.
• Establish a public information campaign to help inform consumers about air quality standards, including how the standards are enforced and to provide tips to consumers about how to comply.
Companies have argued that the government needs to make sure that it has enough information to make informed decisions, and that they have the resources to enforce compliance.
This agreement is likely to cause some headaches for carmakers.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump announced that he was moving to repeal an Obama-era rule aimed at reducing carbon emissions in American cars.
Some carmakers have been more vocal than others about this decision.
Volkswagen has threatened to sue the US government if Trump doesn’t pull the rule off the books, and Fiat Chrysler has been trying to persuade the administration to stop regulating the cars.
The DOJ is still trying to negotiate a deal with the companies that would be in effect until 2019, but some observers are skeptical about whether that could happen.
At a news conference in Washington, DC, earlier this month, Foxxy said that the new deal “will be the largest settlement to date in the United States, in terms of any automaker.”