Senator Vogel’s Bill to Alter Vehicle Emissions Testing

Vehicles ten years or newer and alternative fuel vehicles would be exempt testing

State Senator Elder Vogel, Jr. announced today that he will be introducing legislation to alter the way vehicle emissions testing is done in Pennsylvania. The bill would exempt light passenger vehicles ten years old or newer and alternative fuel vehicles, but will require a visual anti-tampering inspection of emissions control components.

“This legislation is a commonsense bill that allows Pennsylvanians to keep more of their hard earned money. I have heard from many of my constituents about how this is a needless burden without any environmental benefit,” Vogel said. “Statewide the emissions failure rate is less than 2.5% of all vehicles. Newer vehicles fail at a rate of one quarter of one percent. This is a small fraction of the vehicles on the road.”

Despite the very low failure rate, the emissions testing program costs more than $100 million for consumers and millions of tax dollars to administer by the Commonwealth.

In 2006, Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board adopted the California emissions standards for automobiles beginning in Model Year 2008. Since 2008, all new vehicles sold in Pennsylvania have greatly reduced the pollutant totals for Pennsylvania.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2006 required emission control warranties by vehicle manufacturers to protect consumers from the cost of repairs for certain emission related failures. The EPA required that major emission control components are covered for the first 8 years or 80,000 miles. Manufacturers of these emissions control parts guarantee the performance of their products in reducing and controlling emissions for a long period of time, yet Pennsylvania requires costly annual tests for these new, environmentally friendly vehicles.

Additionally, there are no exemptions currently for electric, hybrid electric or compressed natural gas vehicles from the requirements of Pennsylvania’s emissions testing program.

“Because our vehicles are so much cleaner than they used to be, I would prefer that we did away with the program altogether. But that requires the Federal government to change the law. Since they have shown little interest in that, our goal should be to make this program as consumer friendly possible and I believe my legislation does that. It’s clear that cleaner vehicles are helping the air and environment we live in, this costly emissions program is not.”