Elimination of emissions testing gets one step closer
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, TDEC, has recommended Hamilton and several other counties in the state to eliminate emission testing.
Last year, lawmakers passed a bill to stop testing, but it has several other obstacles to overcome before this can be a reality.
Tennessee Representative Mike Carter says passing the bill meant more to him once he had a conversation with someone who lives in his district.
“Why do you pass laws that punish us hard-working people?” said Rep. Mike Carter. “To you, it's a nuisance, but to me, it's a change in my business.”
So far, officials conducted a one year study to see if shutting down these emission sites will negatively impact the air quality.
Carter says research shows numbers will only go up slightly.
He says new funds will pay for air quality solutions, and that money could be seen here in our area.
“It's going to refine the delivery of diesel trucks within the city,” said Carter. “They are the primary sponsor of air quality issues.”
TDEC is expected to submit a plan, that includes a way to continue to keep our air quality below the standard pollution level, to the EPA by 2020.
This fall, officials will hold a public input session.
“All of those reports are combined with TDEC as well as their scientific reports, and opinions from the community will go to Washington,” said Carter. “Then, the EPA will alter our contracts and allow them to terminate.”
It's expected to take four months to fix the software used to process your car tags.
“You have to understand that the emissions and our clerk’s office are tied in together,” said Carter. “We have to uncouple them, and we have to do that in such a way that it doesn't affect the people getting their tax.”
Once EPA approves the plan, the program will terminate within 120 days of EPA's approval.
So emissions testing may not end until 2022.