Response to EPA Letter – Vehicular NOISE – Jurisdictional Responsibility – Obfuscation – Solutions?

To: Mr. James B. DeMocker, Director –  Office of Air Policy and Program Support

November 25, 2016

Dear Mr. DeMocker,

Thank you for your response to my letter requesting intercession from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the out of control vehicular NOISE problems plaguing the roadways, Interstates and communities of the United States.  Unfortunately, your response was very disappointing and unsatisfactory for the following reasons.

  1. You acknowledge the obfuscation of the EPA by reiterating the fact that the responsibility for vehicular noise control was delegated to the States and local governments along with the de-funding of ONAC in 1981.  Mr. DeMocker, Sir, with all due respect, this is not a satisfactory answer or solution to the fact that our States and local governments and their law enforcement entities are failing and have been failing to intercede on behalf of the vehicular noise beleaguered citizenry for the past thirty-years. Please understand this: Our states and local law enforcement refuse to intercede on behalf of the suffering vehicular noise beleaguered citizenry! Our law enforcement community has become so entangled and compromised by their unethical participation in the illegal conduct in conjunction with our local elected leadership prostituting themselves with the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] at biker rallies for profit that it is absolutely mandatory the EPA and the US Congress provide a “National Uniformity of Treatment.” The noise beleaguered citizen is begging and pleading for your assistance! If not the EPA, to whom do we turn for intercession if our states and local governments refuse to protect us?
  2. You acknowledge the admirable enforcement endeavors of the EPA relevant to the recent civil action against Harley Davidson Motor Company pertaining to the Clean Air Act and the air pollution caused by Harley’s Screaming Eagle Super-Tuner devices.  What you fail to acknowledge is the fact that the Noise Control Act and the Code of Federal Regulations, not the Clean Air Act, are the actual initiators of this violation, the subsequent civil action and enforcement initiative.
  3. Mr. DeMocker, you emphasize the fact that the EPA v. Harley civil action focused not on noise emissions but on the emissions of “hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides.”  You then emphasize the injurious physiological ramifications of these pollutants which have been documented as causative factors in cases of “asthma attacks, respiratory illnesses (redundant), and premature death.” Mr. DeMocker, what you have failed to acknowledge is the well documented physiological injurious effects of unregulated environmental noise, with an emphasis on vehicular noise as it relates to human physiology.  Physiological injury such as those articulated on the EPA Website which includes the statement… Noise pollution adversely affects the lives of millions of people.  Studies have shown that there are direct links between noise and health.  Problems related to noise include stress related illnesses, high blood pressure, speech interference, hearing loss, sleep disruption, and lost productivity.  Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is the most common and often discussed health effect, but research has shown that exposure to constant or high levels of noise can cause countless adverse health affects.” “The EPA or a designated Federal agency regulates noise sources, such as rail and motor carriers, low noise emission products, construction equipment, transport equipment, trucks, motorcycles, and the labeling of hearing protection devices.” 

With all due respect Mr. DeMocker, the EPA is gagging at a gnat (air pollution and silly, non-substantiated, global warming concerns) while swallowing a camel (noise pollution), a most undeniable and significant in-your-face/ear vehicular noise pollution problem that cannot be ignored…a vehicular noise pollution problem that destroys the daily quality of life for many millions of American citizens and needlessly endangers their health and welfare according to the United States Congress…

42 U.S. Code § 4901 – Congressional findings and statement of policy

(a) The Congress finds—

(1) that inadequately controlled noise presents a growing danger to the health and welfare of the Nation’s population, particularly in urban areas;

(2) that the major sources of noise include transportation vehicles and equipment, machinery, appliances, and other products in commerce; and

(3) that, while primary responsibility for control of noise rests with State and local governments, Federal action is essential to deal with major noise sources in commerce control of which require national uniformity of treatment.

(b) The Congress declares that it is the policy of the United States to promote an environment for all Americans free from noise that jeopardizes their health or welfare. To that end, it is the purpose of this chapter to establish a means for effective coordination of Federal research and activities in noise control, to authorize the establishment of Federal noise emission standards for products distributed in commerce, and to provide information to the public respecting the noise emission and noise reduction characteristics of such products.

Mr. DeMocker, it is imperative that the EPA stop the obfuscation and stop the excuses for failing the vehicular noise beleaguered citizenry.  Again, our state and local governments care absolutely nothing for the vehicular noise beleaguered citizenry and as retired 31-year police veteran, I can substantiate that fact!

Also, the EPA’s failure to control and regulate the criminal conspiratorial marketing strategies of the motorcycle aftermarket industry is nothing less than pure negligence on the part of an Agency tasked with the responsibility of protecting and defending the rights of the American citizen relevant to environmental issues. Mr. DeMocker you defer culpability for non-enforcement to our states and local governments, but I ask you Sir, what Agency actually has jurisdiction and authority and is responsible for regulating an industry that criminally conspires to market illegal products which negatively affect the environment, the health and welfare and the quality of life of the American citizen – illegal products  that are distributed on a Nationwide basis, across State lines, involving manufacturing, labeling, distributing, retailing, installation, operation?

The EPA’s myopic obsession with air pollution has resulted in a complete disregard for that two-year old child and her fatigued mom who reside in a poorly constructed 2nd-floor apartment overlooking a very busy intersection in Anywhere, USA.  Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, that child and her mom are bombarded by the Loud Motorcycle Cult[ure] (as well as the illegally Loud Auto and Truck Cult[ure]) comprising some 60% to 80% of the motorcycling population.  These motorcycle noise bullies have opted to ignore Federal and State law by installing a NOT FOR ROAD USE – COMPETITION – CLOSED COURSE aftermarket exhaust on their motorcycle emitting four-to-eight-times (logarithmic scale) the legal “total” “safe” motorcycle noise emissions of 80 dB(A) – noise emissions that are audible for over one-mile under hard acceleration, yet the EPA obfuscates and denies any responsibility while local and state law enforcement sip their coffee and look the other way; this, while the before mentioned child and her mom suffer!  Why?

As a retired 31-year veteran of the Houston Police Department and as a concerned American citizen, I am very ashamed of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for its failure to perform its duties and responsibilities relevant to illegally equipped, dangerously loud, intrusive, motorcycles, automobiles and trucks!

Original letter to the EPA can be viewed at: https://rickeyholtsclaw.wordpress.com/2016/09/16/loud-motorcycles-the-epa-a-plea-for-intercession/

little girl holding ears at biker paradelittle girl at the 2016 steel horse rallytoo loud too badlady holding earsif it feels good do it biker creed

Sincerely,

Rickey D. Holtsclaw, Houston PD/Retired, Cell: 479-259-7041                                                          Concerned Citizens Against Loud Motorcycles

rickeyholtsclaw@gmail.com or rickholtsclaw@yahoo.com

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