OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6975

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE PRACTICE OF "ROLLING COAL".

SUMMARY

This bill prohibits motor vehicle operators from engaging in the practice of emitting dense smoke from a motor vehicle (“rolling coal”).

It prohibits the installation, on a motor vehicle, of any device or equipment, including a switch or button, intended to discharge visible smoke, soot, or other particulate emissions into the air and onto roads, other motor vehicles, bicyclists, or pedestrians.

It also prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle so as to emit such a discharge that (1) causes a reasonable person to feel harassed, annoyed, or alarmed; (2) blocks or obscures anyone's view of the roadway, other road users, or a traffic control device; or (3) creates a hazard for a driver, bicyclist, or pedestrian.

A violation is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, imprisonment up to 30 days, or both.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

BACKGROUND

Related Laws and Regulations

It is a violation of the federal Clean Air Act to manufacture, sell, or install a motor vehicle part that bypasses, defeats, or renders inoperative any emission control device (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.).

State law prohibits anyone from removing, dismantling, or rendering inoperable a vehicle's air pollution control system. The Department of Motor Vehicles may revoke a violator's vehicle registration (CGS 14-164c).

State law also requires motor vehicles to be equipped and adjusted to prevent excessive fumes or exhaust smoke. Violators face a $150 fine (CGS 14-80(c)).

State environmental regulations also prohibit, with certain exceptions, gasoline-powered motor vehicles from discharging visible emissions for longer than five consecutive seconds and diesel-powered vehicles from emitting smoke exceeding certain opacity standards for more than 10 consecutive seconds (Conn. Agency Regs. 22a-174-18 (b)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

26

Nay

4

(02/22/2017)