SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) – A local environmental group goes after a Davis County business for allegedly removing emission controls from their diesel trucks. Now, new questions are being raised about how diesel trucks in the state are monitored.
The popular, Discovery Channel show Diesel Brothers features a Woods Cross company that tricks out trucks. Last month the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment announced its considering filing suit against the business for violating the Clean Air Cct.
Dr. Brian Moench, President of the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment told Good4Utah, “We believe that for the past 3 years they have been dismantling, removing and altering pollution control devices on diesel trucks.”
A move that’s against both state and federal law, but is easy to get away with in Utah because only 3 counties in the state require emission testing on diesel trucks: Salt Lake, Davis and Cache counties.
Mark Bowers, training coordinator of the vehicle emissions testing program in Salt Lake County, says somehow sometimes failing vehicles go to other counties to get tested. “We hate it when that happens,” said Bowers.
We do see that. We call that a no known outcome, where the vehicle has had a failing test in our county or an emissions test county and then it gets registered, we don’t know where it went to get registered.”
That’s why the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment is calling for statewide emission testing.
We asked State Representative and Founder and Co-Chair of the Clean Air Caucus Patrice Arent about the possibility of statewide emissions testing and she said it’s a tough sell. “I mean if you’ve got a car that’s down in Kanab, and it never comes outside of Kanab, I think it’s going to be hard to convince some legislators that that car needs to have the same level of testing as a car that’s in the Wasatch Front.”
The problem comes when those vehicles do drive into those counties with really bad air, or non-attainment areas. Requiring bordering counties to test vehicles is a possibility, but Rep. Arent points out that even Utah County, which is also area of non-attainment, doesn’t require diesel emission testing. Right now it’s up to the county, not the state on whether to require testing.
Good4Utah reached out to members of the Utah County Commission as well as Provo City and it doesn’t appear diesel emissions testing is on their radar.
Utah residents can do something about polluting vehicles. The Smoking Vehicle bill, HB17, that was passed in 2015 says diesel vehicles built after 2008 can’t have visible emissions except under a tow load, and those built before 2008 the smoke cant obscure an contrasting background by more than 20% for more than 5 seconds.
For more information on reporting a smoking vehicle log on to: http://www.deq.utah.gov/ProgramsServices/programs/air/mobilesource/smokingcar.htm