SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — A win for our air quality today as a settlement was reached between 4 Wheel Parts and the citizen’s group, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE).  

The UPHE has ‘lodged a consent decree’ that will ban 4 Wheel Parts from selling or installing devices on vehicles that do not meet emission standards.  

This is now the second win for the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment in improving Utah’s air quality.

Their first was against the Diesel Brothers of Utah who were also violating Clean Air Act Standards 

The ban on selling these pollution control defeat devices at 4 Wheel Parts stores will have air quality benefits here in Utah and across the country.  

Dr. Brian Moench, President of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, says “This happens to be a national company, and they have national distribution, like I said they have 90 stores, so the benefit will be far-reaching and far beyond just the State of Utah.” 

The settlement’s announcement came out Monday, but it still must be approved by the Utah Federal District Court. The company was accused of selling and installing aftermarket exhaust kits that allow vehicles, mainly trucks, to cut out pollution control devices such as catalytic converters.  

“Pollution that comes from the tailpipe can now be 20 to 30 or more times what it’s supposed to be, and that obviously increases the air pollution that we’re exposed to,” said Dr. Moench. Cutting off the sale and installation of these devices should help improve the air we breathe. “The real beneficiaries will be everyone who lives in the state, especially along the Wasatch Front, because there will be less of these kinds of tampered vehicles,” says Dr. Moench. 

The settlement also includes funds for a few counties to help repair some of the altered trucks. “A couple hundred thousand dollars will go to the State of Utah to try and get these vehicles that have been tampered with off the road, and have them corrected, and have their pollution control devices restored,” said Dr. Moench. 

The citizen group, UPHE, can use a provision within the Clean Air Act to go after companies violating the standards. “It allows citizen groups to legally pursue enforcement of the Clean Air Act when, in this case, state government or some other government entity is unable to because they don’t have the resources or aren’t aware of the situation,” said Dr. Moench.  ABC 4 contacted Utah DEQ and Davis County, one of the counties stated in the release to receive money in the settlement but was told they could not comment on it yet. The lawsuit still needs to be approved by the Utah Federal District Court.