The Pennsylvania State Senate is considering Senate Bill (S.B.) 777, a bill that would exempt vehicles five years and newer from the requirements of emissions inspections.
The Automotive Service Association (ASA) believes this legislation would have a significant negative effect on the Pennsylvania vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance (I/M) program that serves to keep Pennsylvania’s air cleaner. In addition to harming air quality, the legislation would hurt the approximately 7,000 emissions stations in Pennsylvania, many of which are small, independent businesses that provide jobs across the state.
ASA is encouraging Pennsylvania shops to take action by contacting their state senators opposing S.B. 777. ASA asks that Pennsylvania repair shops click here and send a letter in opposition to S.B. 777 to their state senators.
“This legislation would decimate the Commonwealth’s Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance program, adversely impact hundreds of Pennsylvania small business owners, and threaten compliance with the federal Clean Air Act,” said Ross Colket, president of ASA Pennsylvania. “The proposed changes in S.B. 777 not only put the health, safety and welfare of all Commonwealth residents at risk but likewise jeopardizes hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds for violating federal law.”
Not only does the proposed bill harm small businesses across the state, ASA says, it potentially places an unfair burden on the consumer. Annual vehicle inspection and testing of all vehicles ensure that emissions control systems are working properly. Without mandatory emission testing, vehicle owners can go unaware that their car is malfunctioning – harming air quality and increasing the possibility that they will have to pay costly repair fees.
The changes in S.B. 777 would create one of the longest exemptions of any inspection program in the nation. While some states exempt new vehicles from emissions testing for two, four and now five years, industry data on actual vehicle deterioration indicates that from age four and longer, the need for repair grows substantially. The five-year exemption proposed in S.B. 777 potentially violates compliance with Clean Air Act federal air quality standards and jeopardizes millions of dollars in funds for violating federal law.
There is general acknowledgment throughout the automotive repair industry that there is room for improvement and modernization of the Commonwealth’s Vehicle Emissions I/M program. However, if enacted, S.B. 777 could result in the Commonwealth not meeting statutory mandates rather than improving upon them.