by Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D., Board of Directors, GrowNYC, Co-founder, The Quiet Coalition, and Honorary Chair, Quiet American Skies
I have written earlier on the Stop Loud and Excessive Exhaust Systems, New York State legislation aimed at cracking down on the illegal mufflers and exhaust systems of motor vehicles whose noise has intruded excessively into the lives of New York residents. We are still awaiting data as to whether this legislation has actually had an impact in reducing noise pollution.
Apparently New Yorkers are not the only individuals who have had to suffer from loud motor vehicle noise. Lexi Peery, KUER.org, writes about a lawsuit threatened by the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment against four Harley-Davidson dealerships, which the group claims have been selling motorcycles that “don’t meet federal air and noise standards.” The proposed lawsuit will state that by selling these “illegal, loud motorcycles” the dealerships are in violation of the Clean Air Act and the Federal Noise Control Act. This would not be the first time Harley-Davidson was accused of being in violation of federal law, writes Peery. In 2017, the company had to destroy devices that modified motorcycle emissions control systems.
This latest potential lawsuit was initiated by citizens who claim the motorcycle noise was heard all over the valley. The citizens reported that the noise awakens them at night and keeps them from working in their gardens during the day. They point out that the exhaust pipes from these loud motorcycles also contribute to making the air even more unhealthy.
New York State hoped to reduce motor vehicle noise with legislation; Utah physicians are using the threat of a lawsuit that cites a violation against the Federal Noise Control Act. I know individuals will follow the actions being taken by the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment in their battle to reduce the impact of this harmful pollutant–noise.