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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Smog Check program legislation aims for clean air benefits, lower costs, conveniences

SACRAMENTO:  The Air Resources Board and the Bureau of
Automotive Repair are jointly sponsoring legislation that is
projected to save consumers money, save time and provide greater
air quality from the state’s Smog Check program, which is
administered by BAR.
Addressing challenges raised by a recent analysis of smog check,
Assembly Member Mike Eng (D-Monterey Park) introduced AB 2289
that will provide faster and cheaper service to more than 70
percent of vehicles in California.  The bill also directs older,
high emitting vehicles to the highest performing stations.
"The Smog Check program is one of the most important air quality
programs that we have to meet state and federal air quality
standards," stated Assemblymember Mike Eng. "AB 2289 is designed
to improve the program in reducing pollution through the use of
new technologies that provide considerable time and cost savings
to consumers while at the same time improving consumer
protections by adopting more stringent fine structures to respond
to station and technicians that perform improper and incomplete
inspections."
“If signed, this bill will allow a major upgrade in the
technologies used to test vehicle emissions,” said BAR Chief
Sherry Mehl. “It will result in cleaner air and has the potential
to reduce the cost of a Smog Check for many consumers, as well as
reduce the time spent by consumers getting their vehicles
inspected.”
“This new and improved program will have the same result as
taking 800,000 old cars off the road, also resulting in a more
cost effective program for California motorists,” said ARB
Chairman, Mary D. Nichols.  “Today’s announcement will add
additional improvements to one of our most effective programs in
our fight for clean air, capturing up to 70 tons-per-day of
smog-forming emissions.”
One way the program would reduce costs is by taking advantage of
on-board diagnostic technology installed in all new vehicles
since 1996. The program will now take better advantage of OBD
technology by eliminating tailpipe testing and instead using the
vehicle’s own emissions monitoring system.  This system has saved
consumers time and money in 22 other states.
The recent statewide audit of the Smog Check program revealed
that 19 percent of vehicles that initially passed testing failed
subsequent roadside tests within a short period of time. The
audit can be found at
http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/smogcheck/smogcheck.htm.
Reacting to these findings Assembly Member Eng designed
legislation that includes the following:
•    Authorize the use of On Board Diagnostic II testing to
expedite the process;
•    Vehicles known to release large amounts of pollution must
test at stations with the highest performance ratings;
•    Stricter fines structure for improper inspections;
•    Permit the state to contract with the private sector to
manage franchise-like networks of independently owned Smog Check
stations;
•    Mandate an annual evaluation of station performance using
roadside tests; and,
•    Encourage community colleges and other training
institutions to develop technician-training programs.
California’s Smog Check program, administered by the Bureau of
Automotive Repair, began in 1984 to identify vehicles in need of
maintenance and to assure the effectiveness of their emission
control systems on a biennial basis.  Currently, Smog Check cuts
400 tons of smog-forming emissions from California’s air each
day.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB’s mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.
The Bureau of Automotive Repair licenses auto repair facilities
to protect consumers and administers the Smog Check program to
reduce auto emissions that cause air pollution. Consumers who
have a problem with an auto repair facility can file a complaint
with the Bureau of Automotive Repair by calling 1-800-952-5210.
Consumers can also file complaints online at BAR’s Web site at
www.autorepair.ca.gov.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB’s mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.

1 comment:

Manhattan Air Specialists said...

there is too much pollution in the air which is a slow killer.There are lot more asthma cases than earlier days only due to the unclean air around.Good to hear that at last some measures are being taken.

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