The Diesel Brothers—a collective nickname for Discovery Channel’s truck-obsessed super polluter television show, David “Heavy D” Sparks, Joshua Stuart, Keaton Hoskins, and David “Diesel Dave” Kiley—have been ordered by a Utah judge to pay over $US850,000 ($1,307,988) in fines for violation of the U.S. Clean Air Act. In the process of building trucks for customers at various businesses owned by the men, it was uncovered that they were removing pollution control devices and installing devices to bypass emission controls.
Documents from the court show that none of the levied fines can be avoided or discharged by way of bankruptcy. The judge also ruled that the plaintiffs may submit their attorney fees, allegedly $US1.2 ($2) million, to be paid by the defendant.
The lawsuit was filed by Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment in 2017. This group went to great lengths to prove that the so-called Diesel Brothers were building trucks which intentionally polluted far more than legally allowed. The plaintiffs actually purchased a vehicle from David Sparks, modified by his company, and sent it off for EPA testing. The results showed the truck to emit 36 times more greenhouse gasses, and 21 times more particulate than it would if it were fitted with its proper emissions equipment.
Selling acid was a bad idea. Selling it to a cop was a worse one.
“Diesel exhaust makes up half of the air pollution from mobile sources in the Wasatch Front and those drivers with tampered diesel trucks are a large part of the problem,” Dr. Kirtly Jones, UPHE board member, said in a statement. “These lawbreakers hurt the health of our families and our community and need to be stopped.”
We’ve all seen them on the road, the trucks with a “This Truck Identifies As A Prius” decal on the tailgate and a thin blue line decal in the back window belching thick and obnoxiously loud black smoke with every shift. These disgustingly selfish truck dorks take pride in making other people uncomfortable and hurting the environment.
“Illegally stripped down and modified diesel trucks have no place on our roadways,” Dr. Brian Moench, president of the plaintiff organisation, said in a statement. “Any business that not only profits from doing that, but glorifies the plumes of pollution that their handiwork produces, should be held accountable, and that’s what this ruling does.”
The defendants are banned from ever removing emissions equipment, or selling vehicles modified in this manner again. While it was already illegal, if they do commit such an illegal act again, they could be found in contempt of court, which could mean some actual jail time.
It’s interesting that the Discovery Channel, a network which once focused on science, technology, and history has devolved in a way to air shitty reality television and science ignorant programming like this. Shame, that.