Update on UPHE’s legal win against diesel pollution

UPHE has won two lawsuits (Diesel Brothers and 4Wheel Parts) using the Clean Air Act to prevent illegal exhaust modification of diesel vehicles. The result of these lawsuits is hugely impactful. Research has shown that these pollution control defeating devices can cause up to 100 times more pollution than a regulation vehicle.

According to the Department of Environmental Quality, up to 48% of Utah’s inversions are caused by vehicles. 

Mitigating winter inversions can save lives. Photo from iStock.

As a result of the lawsuit, Davis County has $200,000 for a program to remove the tampered vehicles. NO INDIVIDUALS WHO BRING THEIR VEHICLES IN WILL BE IN TROUBLE. The program is strictly to fix the trucks and protect you and your community. 

To be eligible to participate in the program:

• The vehicle owner must reside in Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, or Weber


• The vehicle must be model year 2005 or newer with a GVWR of 14,000 lbs. or less.

• The owner must identify the tampered emission device.

• No punitive actions will be taken against an individual who identifies a tampered

emissions component as part of this program.

• The owner must have proof of ownership that they owned the vehicle prior to June 30, 2023

ABC4’s coverage of the lawsuit and Davis County program.

Diesel emission impacts from the EPA:

Human Health – Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and can worsen existing heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly.  These conditions can result in increased numbers of emergency room visits, hospital admissions, absences from work and school, and premature deaths.

Environment – Emissions from diesel engines contribute to the production of ground-level ozone which damages crops, trees and other vegetation.  Also produced is acid rain, which affects soil, lakes and streams and enters the human food chain via water, produce, meat and fish.  These emissions also contribute to property damage and reduced visibility.

Global Climate – Climate change affects air and water quality, weather patterns, sea levels, ecosystems, and agriculture. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from diesel engines through improved fuel economy or idle reduction strategies can help address climate change, improve our nation’s energy security, and strengthen our economy.

Environmental Justice – EPA seeks to provide all people the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards and equal access to decision-making to maintain a healthy environment in which to live, learn, and work.  DERA activities further EPA’s commitment to reduce health and environmental harm from diesel emissions in all communities throughout the country.