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Representative Mike Carter Introduces Legislation Ending Mandatory Emissions Testing

HB 1782 receives unanimous support from Chattanooga Legislative Delegation

(NASHVILLE) – State Representative Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson), and State Senator Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga) today introduced legislation that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.

House Bill 1782 — which is receiving unanimous support from members of the Chattanooga Legislative Delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members — would apply to the hardworking men, women, and families 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 placing costly, burdensome regulations on Tennessee’s working families is a false choice, and I reject it,” said Representative Carter.  “Vehicle emissions testing is a perfect example of a well-intentioned government program with harmful, unintended consequences for Tennessee’s middle class. Frankly, it has outlived its usefulness. I’ll be happy to see it go.”

“Vehicle owners in these counties should not be penalized as the standards have been met,” said Senator Watson.  “Emission testing is not only time-consuming but has costs attached, which are especially hard on low-income families.  This legislation would relieve this burdensome regulation for citizens in these six counties.”

“The people who can least afford it are being penalized,” added Sen. Gardenhire.  “Most of our automobile pollution has been from truckers and cars passing through Hamilton County, which we have no control over.  We are hopeful that we have the support to pass the bill this year.”

House Bill 1782 will go before the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee for consideration.

For more information about this initiative, click here.

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