TN state lawmakers looking to put the brakes on emissions tests
HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) – You pull in and wait while your vehicle gets checked out for smog, pay a nine dollar fee, then are given test results.
And, if you pass then you can renew your vehicle registration.
A story all too familiar to Hamilton County motorists who do this every year.
But that could change.
“We’re going to stay at the quality that we’ve achieved because that’s essential. Number one it’s right and it’s what we should do and number two it’s required, but we’re going to stay there, but we’re going to do it in a way that doesn’t punish those among us that can afford it the least,” State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) said.
Rep. Carter is sponsoring legislation, along with Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga), that would put the brakes on emissions tests.
Six counties require the vehicle tests to cut down pollution as a means under the Federal Clean Air Act to meet air quality standards.
“By the evolutionary process of our car manufacturing we’ve met a lot of these standards,” Rep. Carter said.
In August, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation said the entire state was meeting the standards.
Representative Carter said there are other ways to meet the standards outside of emissions tests if there is a need for new remediation.
“There’s quite a group of selections you can make to do that with. Here’s the thing though, do we have to do anything else? Remember we’re above 100 percent compliance now. If we remove that we may still by above 100 percent. So we don’t know,” Rep. Carter said.
Tests are required in Davidson, Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties.
The bill heads to committees in the Senate and House.