UPHE Sues Diesel Brothers
UPHE wins summary judgement against Diesel Brothers
Diesel Brothers charged with vehicle tampering that increases harmful air pollution along Utah’s Wasatch Front. They received an $850,000 penalty and a permanent ban on defeating pollution controls as a consequence of violating the Clean Air Act hundreds of times.
- July 27, 2016: Notice Letter (Full Press Release and Background Information)
- Oct 3, 2016: Supplemental diesel notice letter
- Jan 10, 2017: Filed complaint document
- Jan 15, 2020: Update on Diesel Brothers Lawsuit
- March 11, 2020: Diesel Brothers Hit with $850,000 Air Pollution Penalty
- Dec 29, 2021: Diesel Brothers Fail to Overturn Clean Air Act Violations, Cited for “Flagrant Misconduct.”
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) sued a conglomerate of Utah companies and individuals for deliberately and systematically destroying pollution control equipment on diesel trucks in violation of the Clean Air Act.
Known on social media as the “Diesel Brothers,” the group’s sprawling complex in Woods Cross is famous for building “bad ass” trucks that belch black clouds of smoke – called “rolling coal” – in downtown Salt Lake City and other urban areas.
When diesel trucks made in the last ten years are stripped of their pollution control equipment, their engines emit more than thirty times the air pollution compared to untampered, stock vehicles. This 3,000 percent increase in pollution, per vehicle, is similar to that caused by Volkswagen’s illegal tampering of its diesel cars.
“Pollution controls on diesel vehicles are mandated by law,” said Dr. Howie Garber, UPHE Board Member. “These pollution controls are also necessary to prevent the many acute and chronic diseases that are caused by and exacerbated by air pollution. Unfortunately, Diesel Brothers are turning these trucks into disease-generating machines.”
“As physicians we see the broad range of health consequences from air pollution–sudden death, heart attacks, strokes, lung disease, cancer, and birth defects,” explained Dr. Brian Moench, UPHE President.
“Diesel exhaust is one of the most toxic types of pollution there is. It is, in fact, dangerous and deadly. This company’s removal and deactivation of vehicle pollution control equipment represents a callous disregard for the harm they are doing to the entire community. It is also deeply offensive to all the law abiding vehicle owners who make a good faith effort to abide by our pollution laws.”
UPHE’s complaint states that deliberately removing pollution controls on diesel trucks can cause a ten- to over 30-fold increase in emissions of health-damaging particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen from each vehicle, in violation of federal law.
The Clean Air Act authorizes citizens, just as it does EPA, to seek civil penalties for pollution violations. Ideally these should be directed towards local air pollution prevention, similar to the VW case. Any penalties would go to the federal Treasury, not to UPHE.
Videos of Diesel Brothers’ modified diesel trucks:
1. Prius smoke out by Diesel Brothers truck:
2. Diesel Brothers vehicle after being reprogrammed at Industrial Injection:
3. Diesel Brothers sweepstakes winner rolls coal in prize truck:
4. Generic pictures and videos showing how to remove diesel pollution control equipment
Larsen, Leia. 10 February 2017. Standard Examiner
“Automotive Electronics Manufacturer Fined $500,000 for Selling Illegal Devices Resulting in Tons of Excess Particulate Matter Emissions.” EPA Newsroom, 17 January 2013
Smith, Bruce. 1 February 2013. “DPF Delete: Fine or Fine.” Editor’s Note.
Larsen, Leia. 7 February 2015. “Counties look to diesel emissions testing for cleaner air.” Standard Examiner.
Larsen, Leia. 8 February 2015. “State counties look to crack down on smoking vehicles in Utah.” Standard Examiner.