SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah-based stars of Discovery Channel’s show “The Diesel Brothers” were ordered on Friday to pay $850,000 for violating federal air pollution laws hundreds of times.
The nicknamed “Diesel Brothers” — David Sparks, Joshua Stuart and Keaton Hoskins — violated the Clean Air Act by removing pollution control devices and installing devices to bypass emission controls in vehicles, U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby ruled.
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment filed a lawsuit in 2017 against multiple companies the men own, including Woods Cross-based Diesel Power Gear.
“Illegally stripped down and modified diesel trucks have no place on our roadways,” Dr. Brian Moench, president of the physicians' organization, said in a prepared 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.”
Hoskins was ordered to pay a fine of $86,107 to the U.S. government. Sparks’ company B&W Auto was ordered to pay $114,426, court documents filed on Friday show.
B&W Auto and its CEO, Sparks, were ordered to pay $333,700 to the U.S. government.
B&W Auto, Sparks and Diesel Power Gear were also ordered to pay $90,000 to Davis County for participating in Davis County Tampered Diesel Truck Restoration Program.
Diesel Power Gear, Sparks and Stuart are also liable to pay the U.S. a civil penalty of $227,218.
Court documents show that none of the fines can be avoided or discharged in bankruptcy.
"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 prepared statement. “These lawbreakers hurt the health of our families and our community and need to be stopped.”
Cole Cannon, the Diesel Brothers' attorney, told the Standard Examiner they don't yet know if they will appeal the ruling.
"What's disappointing is that the parties were unable to resolve this through a private settlement, which would have resulted in a lot more of a restorative effort in Utah," Cannon said. "This order only has approximately 10% of the money staying in Utah. The other gets sent to Washington, D.C., and we all know how useful that's going to be."