HARRISBURG – Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-35) is calling for a study to look into Cambria County’s vehicle emissions testing requirement.
“Since taking office, I have received numerous calls from constituents asking why Cambria County residents still have an emissions test when almost none of the surrounding counties do,” Langerholc said.
Cambria County is one of 25 Pennsylvania counties where vehicles are required to undergo emissions testing as part of annual safety inspections. Langerholc introduced a resolution that directs the Joint State Government Commission to perform a comprehensive study of the potential impact of removing Cambria County from the emissions testing requirement.
The testing requirement, which was first implemented in 1997 and expanded to include Cambria County in 2003, was based on air quality data from the 1990s. Local air quality has steadily improved since that time, leading Cambria County to be designated as an attainment area in 2008.
“The emissions testing requirement made sense 20 years ago in order to ensure the worst-polluting vehicles were removed from our roadways, but advances in vehicle emissions technology have helped to ease many local concerns regarding air quality,” Langerholc said. “After nearly a decade of our region meeting federal air quality standards, it is a great time to take a closer look at whether this requirement still makes sense for Cambria County, and what costs we might incur if that requirement was removed.”
In order to remove the emissions testing requirement, the state Department of Environmental Protection is required to submit a revised State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
Langerholc’s resolution includes a requirement for the Joint State Government Commission to provide recommendations for lawmakers regarding the cost of submitting a revised SIP and any potential loss of environmental credits or other financial impacts resulting from the removal of the emission requirement from Cambria County residents.
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