DENVER Denver’s federal appeals court Utah Physicians for a Healthy EnvironmentThe standing to sue Diesel Brothersfederal offenses Clean Air ActThese are the results of Davis County businesses operations.
The decision was taken by the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th DistrictReps from UPHE said Wednesday that the Denver-based company represents a major win. It is the latest development in the nearly five-year-old lawsuit filed against Diesel Brothers truck and auto operator, based in Davis County. This lawsuit was popularized by a Discovery Channel reality TV showSame name.
We consider it a validation and effort from the beginning,” Brian Moench, president, UPHE board, stated Wednesday, a day after unanimously deciding by the three-judge appels court panel. He said that the ruling is a legal affirmation of the rights of private citizens as well as environmental groups such UPHE to enforce Clean Air Act provisions.
The appeals court judges referred the matter to Robert Shelby, the U.S. District Court Judge who originally ruled in this matter, for review of financial penalties that Diesel Brothers and their representatives face. The Diesel Brothers appealed the 2020 ruling and the fines amount to $765,344.
We affirm the judgment of the district court. The appellate ruling reads: UPHE can’t seek penalties for violations that did not result in pollution emissions at the Wasatch Front. Therefore, the record must be further developed to determine the adjustment to the penalty assessment.
Reed Zars, UPHE attorney, stated that the next step will be review by the District Court of these figures. However, the Diesel Brothers have the right to request a rehearing in the appeals case. Cole Cannon, Salt Lake City’s attorney representing the Diesel Brothers, and their representatives, did not immediately respond to a Wednesday query for comment.
According to Discovery Channel promotional material, the Diesel Brothers TV Show features Dave Sparks and other members of a related diesel truck sales organization. They build big, bad trucks, pull elaborate tricks, and push the limits with new stunts.
UPHE was drawn to the operation due to the smoke-spewing trucks that were featured in the program. They were also given away in promotions. The suit alleges that the group members purchased or fitted pickups with devices that would defeat pollution controls. These devices were then sold to private buyers across the country, violating the Clean Air Act. High levels of air pollution are a problem on the Wasatch Front. This is why the January 2017 lawsuit was filed by UPHE.
The actual defendants sind Diesel Power GearWoods Cross retail business; B&W Auto Woods Cross owned by Sparks, Sparks, and Joshua Stuart, who is part-owner of Diesel Power Gear.
Shelby, a representative of Diesel Brothers, ruled against them in March 2020. She is based out of Salt Lake City and said that they committed around 400 violations to pollution law for installing and selling emissions control defeat devices. The Diesel Brothers appeal was largely rejected in Tuesday’s ruling. This ruling questioned whether the UPHE had the right to sue.
Moench stated Tuesday’s court decision had significance beyond Diesel Brothers. It means that others, not only government environmental entities, will be able to sue to enforce Clean Air Act provisions.
It is a victory in public health protection, for the preservation of the rule of law, and for the right to citizens to pursue punishment of any business that might have a similar practice that disregards citizens’ rights to clean air, Moench stated in a statement.
He stated that state environmental entities sometimes don’t have enough resources to pursue corrective measures against pollution scofflaws. He said that an anonymous whistleblower, a state employee had told his group that Utah mechanics were providing services for defeating auto pollution controls. However, the state authorities would likely not pursue action against them.
Zars called Tuesday’s decision a shot across their bow to those who traffic illegally in the modification of emission controls in vehicles and trucks.
Join thousands of others who already receive our daily newsletter.