The Senate Transportation Committee approved a bill on Wednesday (June 12) sponsored by Senator Elder Vogel (R-47) 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, Senate Bill 746, would extend the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s November 1 deadline for existing emissions inspection stations to obtain expensive new testing equipment to July 1, 2021.
“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.”
SB 746 now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
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 that were approved by the Transportation Committee 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- Replace the outdated tailpipe test in Pittsburgh and the two-speed idle test in the Philadelphia region with a gas cap test and a visual inspection for model year 1994-95 vehicles.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 email@example.com