HB 1782 passes by 96-0 vote tally in House Monday night.
(NASHVILLE) – An initiative supported by members of the Williamson County Legislative Delegation including State Representative Glen Casada (R-Thompson’s Station), State Representative Charles Sargent (R-Franklin), and State Representative Sam Whitson (R-Franklin) 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 this week — would apply to residents of Williamson County where 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 came following a report from the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) released last August revealing that all 95 Tennessee counties met federal air quality health standards; after this report was issued, it became clear to the Williamson County Legislative Delegation that mandatory testing was no longer needed.
“Vehicle emissions testing is a process that creates avoidable stress and financial burdens for our working families,” said Representative Casada. “House Bill 1782 moves Tennessee away from mandatory vehicle emissions testing which benefits our citizens and doesn’t create any harmful environmental side effects.”
“Those who can least afford to participate in vehicle emissions testing are baring cost burdens associated with this obsolete practice,” added Representative Sargent. “I am proud to have sponsored legislation that will enable our hardworking families to save more of their money while maintaining total air quality.”
“This bill allows local governments to petition the Environmental Protection Agency to end testing if they continue to maintain total air quality standards already in place across Tennessee,” said Representative Whitson. “Moving away from this time consuming and costly form of testing will have a life-changing financial impact on our citizens who are living paycheck to paycheck and who depend on their vehicles to get to and from work each day.”
For more information about House Bill 1782, click here.