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Congressional Record2017/5/11Senate | House | Extensions

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E625]
From the Congressional Record Online through GPO



                          HON. DEBBIE DINGELL

                              of michigan

                    in the house of representatives

                         Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mrs. DINGELL. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Byron Bunker for being named a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. Mr. Bunker's work as Director of Compliance Programs for the Environmental Protection Agency was key to uncovering Volkswagen Group's automotive emissions evasion scheme and safeguarding public health.

Since 1999, Mr. Bunker has worked for the EPA's National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which conducts tests to certify that vehicles and engines meet the United States' emissions and fuel economy standards. As Director of the NVFEL's Compliance Division, Mr. Bunker tests automobiles and their components to ensure that they comply with clean air regulations. Working in conjunction with academic researchers and other federal officials, Mr. Bunker helped uncover and halt a scheme by Volkswagen to evade emissions standards through the use of software designed to intentionally fool regulators about the true emissions levels of its diesel vehicles. This discovery eventually resulted in the largest penalty ever levied against a car manufacturer and helped lay the foundation for additional criminal investigations. These have resulted in $4.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties, as well as indictments against Volkswagen executives.

Mr. Bunker's expertise and tireless efforts played a critical role in uncovering this wrongdoing and underscore the importance of the EPA's enforcement efforts. As a result of Mr. Bunker's work, the EPA was not only able to detect a sophisticated and widespread emissions evasion scheme, but also strengthen its testing procedures to prevent similar deceptions in the future. Through his rigorous work and collaboration with other officials in the EPA, Mr. Bunker has been an important driver of efforts to protect Americans' health and the environment, and it is my hope that he continues to effectively safeguard public health and safety in the years ahead.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in honoring Byron Bunker for being named a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal. Mr. Bunker's rigorous enforcement work has been important in protecting public health and safety. ____________________

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