Pickup driver forced to scrap truck due to deleted emissions

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Mike Sebold, the owner of the diesel Ram truck, received a letter from the DEP in late July saying that the car needed to be returned to stock or taken off the road with in a 60-day timeframe that had a deadline of Sept. 25, according to The Drive. Sebold quickly replied, deciding against returning the Ram to stock, which would’ve cost around $10,000.

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Instead, Sebold decided to turn in his plates and keep the car for off-road use, if permitted.

“I’m going to hand in the plates, hand in the registration, and I’m going to ask that they title it salvaged or as an off-road vehicle only, if they allow that,” Sebold told The Drive. “Then I’m going to go to the fair in town and I’m going to run my truck in the truck pull. If it blows up, it blows up. I don’t care because I’m scrapping the engine anyway.”

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However, he said that wasn’t good enough for the DEP, who then forced him to make an appointment at the scrap yard — currently booked for Sept. 16, nine days ahead of the 60-day deadline.

A New Jersey DEP agent told The Drive, “Mr. Sebold has informed the Department that he intends to bring his truck to a scrap yard on Sept. 16 and have it destroyed, although the Department has explained to Mr. Sebold on multiple occasions that the Department would extend the 60-day deadline cited in compliance requirements to give him time to make the necessary repairs to the truck and return it to full New Jersey emissions compliance.”

The DEP also said, “Mr. Sebold has made the decision to scrap his truck, despite DEP offering him other options.”

However, it doesn’t quite seem like Sebold had many options other than destroying his truck or spending $10,000 to bring it to compliance. 

Over the last several years, governments and federal agencies have been cracking down on deleted trucks, especially diesel trucks which are seen as high polluters. In April, the state of New Jersey announced it would pour $80 million annually to tackle tailpipe emissions and other climate change factors.