Bill to end emissions testing advances

Staff Reports • Updated Apr 7, 2018 at 9:00 AM

A bill cosponsored by state Rep. Clark Boyd that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee continued to advance through the General Assembly’s committee process. 

Members of the House Finance, Ways and Means Subcommittee voted to advance the bill earlier this week. 

The initiative, which received unanimous support from members of the Wilson County legislative delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members, would apply to residents in Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson counties where vehicle emissions testing is required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties that didn’t meet the federal standards for air quality.

Testing is currently done on vehicle models from 1975 and newer if those vehicles are powered by gasoline or diesel engines and weigh up to 10,500 pounds. More than 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions tests in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for the bill to eliminate testing came after a report was released from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in August that revealed all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards. After the results of the report were released, lawmakers determined mandatory testing was no longer needed.

The bill is expected to be heard Monday by members of the Finance, Ways and Means Committee.


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