Say what? I can’t hear you!

Ah, the sounds of summer: the Saturday morning chatter at Pritchard Park, a quiet bike ride on a country road—but wait! What’s that I hear off in the distance? A jackhammer? A squadron of attack helicopters? Oh, it’s just another motorcycle with a ridiculously loud and obnoxious tailpipe.

I thought there were laws against noise pollution (see “And the Beat Goes On,” [Xpress Letters, Aug. 9, 2006]). When tailpipes can be heard rumbling along the Blue Ridge Parkway from the town of Marion 10 miles below, doesn’t that qualify? I wonder how the wildlife must feel. Maybe that’s why every year I see less and less. I know, “Loud pipes save lives,” right? But most of the noise is directed behind the bike—alerting oncoming traffic? Hmm, I don’t think so.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not against motorcycles. I’ve owned several myself, but nice purring machines—you know, the ones that don’t break down ‘cause every bolt in the thing isn’t rattled straight off its threads. And why is it usually the guys with the loudest tailpipes who have to “gun it” when they see a group of outdoor lunchers at a downtown eatery or a lone bicyclist on the parkway? Does this make them big, strong men? Well, if that’s the case, instead of that next order of EPO, I guess I just need a really loud motorcycle.

— Damon Rouse

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One thought on “Say what? I can’t hear you!

  1. Clayton Moore

    North Carolina General Stautes 20-128 and 20-183 are laws that used to address Mr. Rouse’s concerns. However, the police and Park Rangers are not issuing tickets for muffler noise violations. Reasons? Tourism money is supreme here in our mountains.

    As such, the next step is the EPA. Many of these noisy motorcycles have been illegally modified.
    This means the owner of a modified motorcycle (or car or truck) as well as their complicit mechanic are subject to a $5000.oo fine for violating the Clean Air Act. Recently, the EPA busted the Chopper guys of TV fame for air pollution violations on illegal motorcycle engines.

    Reporting these air polluting scofflaws can be done on-line at (go to compliance/enforcement for
    Region 4 Atlanta Office) or by regular mail/fax

    United States Environmental Protection Agency
    Region 4
    Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
    61 Forsyth Street, SW
    Atlanta, GA 30303-8960

    Main Phone Numbers
    Phone: (404) 562-9900

    Toll Free: 1-800-241-1754

    Fax: (404) 562-8174

    Office and Division Phone Numbers
    Regional Administrator’s Office: (404) 562-8357

    Office of Policy and Management (404) 562-8295
    Office of Public Affairs:
    (404) 562-8327

    Press and Information:
    (404) 562-8327

    Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs:
    (404) 562-8327

    Air, Pesticides, and Toxic Management Division:
    (404) 562-9077

    Waste Management Division:
    (404) 562-8651

    Water Management Division:
    (404) 562-9345

    Environmental Accountability Division:
    (404) 562-9655

    Science & Ecosystem Support Division
    (Athens, GA):
    (706) 355-8500

    Criminal Investigation Division:
    (404) 562-9795

    TTY Number for the Hearing Impaired:
    (404) 562-8339

    MountainX (Nelda), Thank you for standing up for us little guys!

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