Tennessee Vehicle Owners Reportedly May Have to Wait for Vehicle Emissions Tests to Go Away

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Vehicle owners in Tennessee may have to wait three additional years before they find out whether government officials will continue to force them to go through yearly vehicle emissions tests.

This according to The Chattanooga Times Free Press, which reported last week that everything depends on approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In August 2017, the paper said, the EPA announced all of Tennessee’s 95 counties had complied with National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone and particulate matter.

“That prompted legislation by Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, and Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, to do away with the annual mandatory inspections. Passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Bill Haslam in May, the law requires Tennessee to abolish the inspections emissions but makes it conditional on EPA approval,” according to The Times Free Press.

Vehicle owners in Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson have used the annual emissions testing for years to comply with the federal Clean Air Act, the paper reported.

“But armies of vehicle owners detest the program, citing costs, inconvenience and major expenditures to fix problems when their vehicles fail the test. Carter and Watson have pointed to the unfair impact it has on lower-income vehicle owners who face high costs to repair pollution control equipment on their vehicles,” the Times Free Press said.

“Under the law, Metro Nashville/Davidson County was given a choice on whether to continue its testing program. The Metro Council voted to keep the program.”

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation are conducting data collections and analysis to make sure eliminating the emissions testing program will not interfere with the state’s compliance with federal air quality standards, the paper reported.

TDEC officials, the paper went on to say, expect to have draft revisions to the State Implementation Plan in the spring of next year.

The State Implementation Plan will explain how Tennessee will still comply with federal law, according to The Times Free Press. TDEC officials will then begin preliminary reviews with EPA, the Air Pollution Control Board, and other state and local agencies. TDEC will also seek the rule-making changes needed during this time, according to the paper.

TDEC officials expect to submit the plan to the EPA in the spring of 2020 for review. EPA officials then have 18 months to review it, The Times Free Press said.

“Once EPA approves the plan, the program will terminate within 120 days of EPA’s approval,” according to the newspaper.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected] 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Thoughts to “Tennessee Vehicle Owners Reportedly May Have to Wait for Vehicle Emissions Tests to Go Away”

  1. […] The Tennessee Star reported last December, vehicle owners in Tennessee may have to wait three additional years before they find out whether […]

  2. Budd Moss

    Emissions testing is just another state scam to rake in money. If your vehicle’s “check engine” light is on, you automatically fail. Your emissions may be within legal limits–the light can be triggered by something as small as the gas cap not being tightened enough–but it doesn’t matter to the eco-Reich. Try again later, and pay us again, as well. We need the money to bribe a sports team to come here!

  3. Wolf Woman

    Last weekend for the first time in many, many years, I drove behind a car spewing nasties from its tail pipe. The smell was as bad as the cloud of pollution in front of us. When I was a kid, this was standard occurrence driving around Nashville.

    There has to be a way to keep this kind of negligence that’s bad for our health as well as for the performance and life of the car from proliferating again, which it will if driver’s aren’t required to comply.

  4. Kevin

    Just another case of how our State Government has failed us. So the elected Legislative branch of the Government passes a law, and it gets signed in to law by the elected Governor. Did I mention Republican Party led super majority government? Yet, the non-elected administrative bureaucracy of the Government makes us wait four years to reap the benefits! How can it be?

    Could it be that somebody (not you and me) is making a bunch of money off of this program? Are there any “special interest” groups (like the Car Repair Association PAC) working behind the scenes to keep the testing program in place? It sure smells like it to me!

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