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Representative Carter’s Bill Moving Tennessee Away From Mandatory Emissions Testing Passes

HB 1782 cosponsored by Speaker Harwell and Hamilton County Legislative Delegation

(NASHVILLE) – An initiative sponsored by State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah) and cosponsored by Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville), State Representative Marc Gravitt (R-East Ridge), State Representative Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain), State Representative Gerald McCormick (R-Chattanooga), and State Representative JoAnne Favors (R-Chattanooga) requiring counties to take all necessary steps to end mandatory vehicle emissions testing in Tennessee has passed in the House chamber.

House Bill 1782 — approved by a 96-0 vote tally by House members Monday night — would apply to citizens of Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.

The 1990 Federal Clean Air Act required the state to develop more restrictive regulations to control air pollution from mobile sources in counties which were not meeting the Federal Standards for air quality.

Currently, testing is done on vehicles with a model year of 1975 and newer if they are powered by a gasoline or diesel engine and weigh up to 10,500 lbs.  Over 1.5 million vehicles went through emissions testing in Tennessee last year in the six counties where it is required.

The idea for House Bill 1782 resulted from a conversation between Representative Carter and a constituent last year who voiced her concerns about the burdensome costs of testing on her family. Once the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released a report last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards, it became clear to Representative Carter that mandatory testing was no longer needed.

“The idea that we have to choose between clean air and this costly, burdensome practice impacting Tennessee’s working families is a false choice, and I reject it,” said Representative Carter. “Vehicle emissions testing has outlived its usefulness, and House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from it. This measure will have a life-changing impact on our working families while also maintaining total air quality. I look forward to its passage in the Senate, and I know it is in great hands with Senator Bo Watson leading the efforts in order for it to clear its final legislative hurdle.”

“Our citizens who can least afford to participate in this obsolete form of testing are being unfairly penalized,” added Speaker Harwell.  “I am proud to have cosponsored legislation that will enable them  to save more of their hard-earned money and won’t harm air quality in cities and towns across the state.”

House Bill 1782 now awaits passage in the Senate. For more information about this initiative, click here.

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