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Development & Transportation

Wozniak: End Emissions Testing

State inspections could soon be a bit less expensive if a Johnstown-area lawmaker has his way. Pennsylvania State Senator John Wozniak (D-Cambria County) is co-sponsoring legislation that would exempt new cars and alternative fuel vehicles from emissions inspections for 10 years.

"It's time to update our automobile mandates to reflect reality," said Wozniak. "When emissions inspections were enacted, there were still a lot of old, polluting cars on the road. Today, nearly all cars pass the emissions test and drivers have to pay up to $50 to be told what they already know."

Wozniak said 98% of cars in the state pass the yearly emissions test.

Emissions testing began in a handful of Pennsylvania counties after the state entered an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1997. Currently there are 25 counties with emissions testing.

Approximately one million cars are tested every year. Wozniak said the bill would exempt more than half the cars registered in Pennsylvania.

EPA approval would be necessary for Pennsylvania to amend its emissions inspection program, but Senator Wozniak said the agency has been flexible with other states where testing has been mandated.

"Other states have waived emissions inspections for new cars up to a certain age, saving taxpayers a small fortune," said Wozniak.

Senate Bill 1532 has been passed by the Senate Transportation Committee and is now pending before the full senate.

Emission testing is required in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York.