House approves bill to end vehicle emissions testing in five TN counties

A bill seeking to do away with vehicle emissions testing in five Tennessee counties was overwhelmingly approved Monday evening by the state House and now goes to the Senate, reports the Times Free Press.

Rep. Mike Carter, R- Ooltewah, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, brought the legislation (HB1782) after state officials last year announced Tennessee and the affected counties had become fully compliant with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ambient air quality standards for ozone and particulate emissions.

Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties all implemented EPA-approved vehicle emissions testing programs intended to lower emissions. The bill applies to the five counties under a state emissions-testing company contract. Davidson County (Metro Nashville) has set up its own testing system with its own contractor.

… The bill… directs the five remaining counties to go to the EPA and seek federal approval to change their State Implementation Plans and drop the annual testing many motorists detest.

An amendment added in committee makes clear that if EPA refuses, the ban on the testing would not go into effect. The counties will have to demonstrate to federal regulators that emissions are either low enough that doing away with emissions testing won’t put them out of kilter with air quality standards or find other methods to make up deficiencies.

There was little discussion of the bill Monday on the House floor, but Carter said earlier that “we can’t unilaterally terminate an order from EPA. We have to apply to [EPA]. What the bill does is, now that we’ve reached 100 percent attainment, it forces the counties to submit a plan” to withdraw.

Carter is confident that can occur, noting that EPA allowed Memphis to end its vehicle emission testing program. State regulators say that was possible because a major emissions-spewing factory shut down.

8 Responses to House approves bill to end vehicle emissions testing in five TN counties

  • William Upton says:

    I think we should become a “Sanctuary from Stupidity State” and ignore the EPA. Put the ban into effect NOW!

  • Cannoneer2 says:

    My experience as a professional in the environmental field for over a decade tells me that shoving the feds aside in favor of control by Tennessee politicians is likely to go badly. That said, I don’t like the testing either.

  • Michael Lottman says:

    O boohoo people don’t like emissions testing because … well, just because. How will they like wearing gas masks when they go outside every day? Coping with more and more violent weather extremes, food shortages, influxes of people fleeing flooded, burnt-out, infested, or other affected areas? It is amazing how we can continue to pretend that climate change is not already under way and is not just a few more years from becoming the overriding consideration in most people’s lives–and that we still as a society refuse to make even the smallest sacrifice to mitigate or delay its effects.

  • Tommy Ray McAnally says:

    The emissions WAS AGAINST THE POOR ANYWAY. We all can’t afford to LEASE BIG CARS. Is there really commonsense on the hill or is someone running for RE-ELECTION?

  • Jerry Shanes says:

    This is a b******* law emissions testing does not include people with money it’s focused on the poor income people it cannot afford new cars every year

  • Danny Brewington says:

    Everything is about the money not making your life easier, you never really own anything and never will. Don’t pay your taxes or the fee’s for using what you think you own and see what happens. Jesus was right, money is behind many wrongs?

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