11 Jul

Utah HD Dealers Face EPA Claims

Utah Harley dealers face air pollution claims
The StaffJuly 10, 2024
Photo courtesy of Alex Goodlett, Utah News Dispatch

Courthouse News Service‘s Sam Ribakoff has reported that on Monday, a federal judge in Utah ruled that an environmental nonprofit has standing to pursue most of its claims that Harley-Davidson dealerships that sell motorcycles without catalytic converters in the Wasatch Front area of the state are polluting the air. The nonprofit can not continue with its claim that the motorcycles are so loud they violate federal law.

Ribakoff shares:

In his 68-page order, U.S. District Judge David Barlow also said that the plaintiff, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, presented sufficient evidence to show that motorcycles without catalytic converters contribute to ozone and PM2.5 pollution and that people in the north-central part of the state are injured by the elevated levels of pollution in the area.

PM2.5 is a kind of fine particulate matter that can get deep into people’s lungs and bloodstream, causing cardiovascular, respiratory, and other health problems.

“Motorcycle exhaust contributes to and prolongs the poor air quality in Utah that has been linked to serious diseases that range from short-term increased rates of heart attacks, strokes, and death to long-term neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s,” the plaintiffs wrote in their complaint.

PM2.5 pollution, they add, can cause vision impairment, reduction of lung capacity, sinus irritation, coughing spells, foul smells, nose and throat irritation, lung damage, bronchitis, and even early death.

However, Barlow said the plaintiffs only have standing where they can prove that the dealerships removed or modified required pollution emission control parts from their bikes, and that they are or will be used in or around the Salt Lake City/Wasatch Front area.
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