Senator Vogel Proposes Delay on Costly Vehicle Inspection Mandate

Senator Elder Vogel today (May 30) unveiled a measure that would delay a costly mandate on local garages that ultimately would increase the fees paid by motorists when their vehicles are inspected. Senator Vogel’s legislation would extend the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s November 1 deadline for existing emissions inspection stations to obtain expensive new testing equipment.

“My bill is part of a coordinated effort to bring much needed updates and reforms to Pennsylvania’s emissions testing program. Pennsylvania’s air quality has significantly improved since the program was initiated 30 years ago,” Senator Vogel said. “Local mechanics have requested that PENNDOT delay costly computer updates. My legislation will slow down this implementation saving motorists and garages money.”

In 1990, Congress set the requirement for a vehicle emissions testing program as part of the Clean Air Act amendments.  Since then, Pennsylvania has implemented several changes, including the addition of numerous areas beyond the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metropolitan regions. 

Currently, Pennsylvania’s program requires motorists in 25 counties to participate in an annual emissions testing for gasoline-powered passenger cars, vans, and light-duty trucks with a model year 1975 and newer.  (Diesel-powered vehicles are federally exempt from an annual emissions testing, and other vehicles such as motorcycles are exempt in Pennsylvania.)  

Senator Vogel’s measure is part of a package of bills unveiled by Senate Republicans today to reform the Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program.

The other bills in the package would:

  • Exempt gas-powered passenger cars, vans, and light-duty trucks from the I/M program for the first eight years after manufacture in counties that require emissions testing.
  • Change the annual emissions testing to a two-year testing requirement for gas-powered passenger cars, vans, and light-duty trucks older than eight years in counties that require emissions testing.
  • Replace the outdated tailpipe test in Pittsburgh and the two-speed idle test in the Philadelphia region with a gas cap test and a visual inspection for model year 1994-95 vehicles.

 

Contact:          Charlie O’Neill            (717) 787-3076          coneill@pasen.gov