weather icon Clear

Nevada DMV cracking down on emissions violators

Local commercial truck drivers beware, as the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Compliance Enforcement Division is once again cracking down on vehicles belching out thick black smoke in the Pahrump Valley.

DMV Public Information Officer Kevin Malone said enforcement officers are primarily tasked with enforcing the regulations on visible emissions from the Heavy Duty Diesel Truck program.

“The laws on smoke and visible emissions are applicable statewide, not just in Clark and Washoe counties,” he said. “The officer had met up with someone in Pahrump to follow up on a Smog Spotter report. After that, the officer observed a truck and pulled it over for an opacity test. It failed as the smoke was 66.7 percent opaque, whereas 40 percent is the maximum.”

The Heavy Duty Diesel program was first initiated, statewide, in the late 1990s.

Malone noted that violations are cited by the division as administrative actions, rather than criminal offenses.

“The violator can request a hearing before the DMV Office of Administrative Hearings,” he said. “If needed, the hearings decision can be appealed in District Court. The officers are sworn law enforcement and can issue criminal citations and make arrests. Division investigators are also sworn peace officers and have the authority to enforce any criminal offense throughout the state, however their primary focus is enforcement of emissions violations. The DMV’s Compliance Enforcement Division also regulates the vehicle industry and investigates ID fraud and auto-related document fraud.”

Nye County Sheriff’s Lt. David Boruchowitz said as the DMV’s Compliance Enforcement Division is a state entity, the officers are free to perform enforcement duties anytime they choose without notifying the sheriff’s office.

“We showed up to verify it was lawful enforcement and that was it,” he said. “I believe they are stepping up enforcement more frequently.”

The responding deputy who verified the compliance enforcement traffic stop at Highway 372 and Raindance Drive was motorcycle patrol deputy Britton Hoffman, who coincidentally performed opacity testing at one time for a chemical plant.

“He was actually called out here to inspect another truck,” Hoffman said. “He comes out of Las Vegas to see if there are any other compliance issues with commercial vehicles. He said there was only three officers in marked units throughout the entire state. There are two in Las Vegas, and one in the Reno area of Washoe County.”

Additionally, the local driver who was cited was none too happy about the traffic stop.

“The driver was complaining about the fact that we don’t have any emissions tests out here in Pahrump, because Nye County does not smog vehicles,” Hoffman, the motorcycle deputy, said. “They work for the state, and Nye County is obviously within the state of Nevada. He was out here for a reason, and he just happened to see the truck’s emissions and he stopped on it.”

Malone, meanwhile, noted that penalties can be stiff for heavy-duty diesel violators, as fines can go upward of $800 for the first offense and $1,500 for subsequent offenses.

“With smoking gasoline vehicle violators, the operator of the vehicle is responsible for the citation,” Malone said. “With heavy-duty diesel violators, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for the citation.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Pahrump Animal Shelter services contract decision set for Tuesday

The current contract for operation of the Pahrump Animal Shelter is almost at an end and the Nye County Commission must make the decision as to which organization the new contract will be awarded to.

Pahrump Valley Times refreshes its website

The website of the Pahrump Valley Times — pvtimes.com — features a refreshed look unveiled this week.

California Lottery

No one matched all five numbers and the mega number in the Wednesday, June 12 drawing of the California Super Lotto. The next jackpot will be at least $53 million.

Flag Day ceremony in Pahrump honoring veterans

Nathan Adelson Hospice announced it will be holding a special “We Honor Veterans” pinning ceremony today, June 14 in Pahrump to coincide with Flag Day.

Yucca Mountain back on television

In a made-for-TV visit to the proposed burial site for the nation’s nuclear waste in Nye County, Nevada’s senior senator vows to block efforts to restart licensing process.

Air ambulance company responds to Pahrump transport cost concerns

The director of communications and government affairs of Air Methods, the parent company of Pahrump’s Mercy Air, has issued a response regarding the circumstances of a Pahrump resident who was billed more than $50,000 for an air ambulance flight from Pahrump to a Las Vegas medical facility.

1 transported to UMC Trauma after Nevada Highway 160 crash

Crews from Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services responded to what was described as a suspicious vehicle fire on Saturday, June 8 at approximately 9:41 p.m.

Nye County District Attorney’s Report

Editor’s note: The Nye County District Attorney’s Report is provided by the office of DA Chris Arabia. Plans call for it to be provided on a monthly basis as the information becomes available. This report is for May 2019 unless noted. Duplicate names represent separate cases.