Scott Broden, The Daily News Journal, April 6, 2018
Vehicle emission testing will continue for at least two more years until the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency permits Tennessee to end the requirement, a lawmaker said.
“It’s all EPA regulated,” state Rep. Dawn White, R-Murfreesboro, told those attending the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce’s Capitol Connection event held Friday morning. “It would be two to three years before they can approve our plan.”
More: Rutherford County Commission pushes to end emissions testing
The lawmakers are pursuing legislation that would permit the county to end the requirement for a vehicle to pass a $9 vehicle emission test in order for residents to renew vehicle registrations and pay wheel taxes.
The County Commission recently approved a resolution urging lawmakers serving in the Rutherford delegation of the Tennessee General Assembly to support the legislation.
Commissioner Robert Stevens, who called for the resolution, said he was disappointed to learn that it could take a few years to end emission testing.
“It’s certainly not surprising any time the federal government’s involved with something,” Stevens said. “It’s a lot more complex than it needs to be.”
Long emission testing lines frustrate lawmaker State Sen. Bill Ketron, R-Murfreesboro, said he expects the legislation to pass to allow the county to discontinue a requirement that causes people to be stuck in long lines for the emission test.
“I get frustrated with that,” Ketron said.
White said after the meeting that emission testing is unnecessary because newer cars are causing less air pollution. She also noted how not all Tennessee counties are required at this time to have emission testing.
“It’s just a burden on our citizens,” White said.
State Rep. Mike Sparks, R-Smyrna, suggested the vehicle emission test oppresses the poor who drive older cars.
Smyrna and Rutherford County officials seek an Interstate 24 interchange at Rocky Fork Road. Scott Broden/DNJ
Reach Scott Broden at email@example.com, 615-278-5158 or on Twitter @ScottBroden