“Rolling coal” is a relatively new fad that’s cropped up on the political right, which uses aftermarket modifications to rig trucks so that they spew darker and thicker choking clouds of exhaust. Perhaps the anti-environmentalists imagine themselves as gallant knights, battling the evil government dragon and the sniveling liberal environmentalists, but one thing they won’t be imagining are all the tickets and impound fees they stand to accrue.
Because as far as the EPA is concerned, the practice is illegal.
TPM reached out to Liz Purchia, the press secretary for the EPA, and she said that the “rolling coal” phenomenon is breaking the law, singling out two paragraphs on the air enforcement part of the EPA’s website.
According to the first paragraph, it violates the Clean Air Act to make, sell, or install a motor part that bypasses emission control devices that may already be in the vehicle:
It is a violation of the [Clean Air Act] to manufacture, sell, or install a part for a motor vehicle that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device. For example, computer software that alters diesel fuel injection timing is a defeat device. Defeat devices, which are often sold to enhance engine performance, work by disabling a vehicle’s emission controls, causing air pollution. As a result of EPA enforcement, some of the largest manufacturers of defeat devices have agreed to pay penalties and stop the sale of defeat devices.
The second paragraph states that tampering with or modifying an emission control device before or after the sale of the vehicle is an offense that can be prosecuted:
The CAA prohibits anyone from tampering with an emission control device on a motor vehicle by removing it or making it inoperable prior to or after the sale or delivery to the buyer. A vehicle’s emission control system is designed to limit emissions of harmful pollutants from vehicles or engines. EPA works with manufacturers to ensure that they design their components with tamper-proofing, addresses trade groups to educate mechanics about the importance of maintaining the emission control systems, and prosecutes cases where significant or imminent harm is occurring.
Most of these trucks are diesel, meaning the people involved are wasting up to $4.00 a gallon in some places. I’d hate to be the idiot who pays weekly to fill up their tank.
These conservatives are like children, poking their parents because they want attention. I say we give it to them – if they have the $5,000 – $10,000 to spend turning their truck into a rolling Modor, they certainly have the money to pay for a few hundred-dollar tickets. And if they can pay for that, then it’s without question they can pay for towing fees and a few nights’ stay in Hotel Police Impound Lot.
But hey, if you can’t afford all the tickets and impound fees to drive your truck, it should make you feel good to know that for about the same price as the modifications that caused you to get those tickets and impound fees, you can purchase a nice used car — like this 2002 Toyota Prius.