Vehicle Emissions Package Advances in Senate

(HARRISBURG) – The Senate Transportation Committee has advanced a package of bills, seeking to reform the vehicle emission process in Pennsylvania, according to Senator John R. Gordner (R-27).  As a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Gordner voted in favor of the legislation.

One of these pieces of legislation is Senate Bill 744, which was co-sponsored by Senator Gordner.  SB 744 would exempt Luzerne County, along with 6 other counties across the state from current vehicle emissions testing requirements.

“Attaining emissions reductions through annual emissions testing has become difficult because of the improvement of technology over the years,” said Senator Gordner.  “Because of that technology, a vast majority of tested vehicles have passed and shown that they are compliant with state and federal emissions standards.”

Senate Resolution 168 of 2017 called on the Joint State Government Commission to conduct a comprehensive study to evaluate the impacts of removing certain counties from testing requirements.  The Commission’s report was issued in January 2019.  This study identified 7 counties, including Luzerne County, as candidates to be removed from the program because their removal would have a minimal effect on the overall ability of the Commonwealth to maintain federal air quality standards. 

Other states, including North Carolina and Tennessee, have recently removed counties from their testing programs because of improved air quality in those areas.

Other bills in the package include:

  • SB 742 – Would exempt gas-powered passenger cars, vans, and light-duty trucks from the program for the first 8 years after manufacture in counties that require emissions testing.
  • SB 743 – Would eliminate the annual vehicle emissions testing and replace it with a 2-year testing requirement for gas-powered passenger cars, vans, and light-duty trucks older than 8 years after manufacture in counties that require emissions testing.
  • SB 746– Would extend the transition date for existing emissions inspection stations that are required by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to obtain new emissions testing equipment by November 1, 2019.

The bills now go before the full Senate for its consideration. 

 

CONTACT:  Mike Stephens (717) 787-8928