Reasons for Passing Emissions Testing

Understanding and knowing the roles that both the federal and state governments play in ensuring air pollution is placedat a minimum makes it clearer why some states have emissions tests when others do not. If you stay in an area where emissions tests are made compulsory, you have to bring your vehicle to a testing station once a year, or once every other year, to  be sure that it’s producing reduced levels of pollutants. If your car fails an emissions test you are demanded to have the vehicle repaired.

How are some states different?

In most states emissions testing are nation-wide, like Massachusetts, which needs vehicles to have an emissions test as an essential part of an annual safety inspection for a fee. The majority of other states, like California, Nevada and Missouri, need emissions testing only in specified regions, often in more densely populatedplaces and often every two years. Other states, like Florida, Montana and Nebraska need no emissions testing.

The Federal laws and the EPA

Although the federal government’s Clean Air Act stipulates air quality levels for the entire country, how these aims are met is left up to each state.

The federal Clean Air Act, enforced by the EPA, mentions the maximum levels of pollutants permit able in the air for chemicals and elements like carbon monoxide, lead, ozone and sulfur dioxide. These levels are often measured in parts per million, or ppm. If a state were to pass these levels that state would be responsible for creating a plan to correct it, and not the EPA. If state legislatures thought that cars were contributing to the issues, they could enact emissions testing. However, if they felt local manufacturing was responsible, they might impose restrictions on that industry rather. In any event, the decision is always left to the state government.

Why some states do notrequire emissions testing

In the 1990s Florida did need emissions testing in metropolitan places like Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville; later, however, the state government stopped them. While the cut was not without controversy, the government thought the tests were not required since the state was meeting federal air quality standards, and estimated the cost savings to taxpayers to be up to $50 million each year.

Although at the time of publication emissions testing is needed in six counties in Tennessee, the state government started making moves away from these tests in 2016. The Tennessee senate voted to end emissions testing in that particular state. The $9 annual test fee was described as an annoyance to drivers by some lawmakers. Some equally cited a recent Volkswagen scandal as a reason to stopping the tests, as the auto manufacturer had mounted software in some cars to cheat emissions tests.