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9/29/2005
Kentucky Dumps Emissions Testing
After legal and legislative battles, Kentucky is ending its unpopular emissions testing program.

Tailpipe test
In 45 days, Kentucky motorists will be free from the biennial hassle of driving to an emissions station, waiting in long lines and paying $20 only to find their car is not polluting. The US Environmental Protection Agency has approved plans to shut down the testing program.

Since September 1999, Northern Kentucky motorists have had a tailpipe inspection performed as a condition automobile registration renewal. Last year, about 100,000 cars were tested and 97 percent passed. Of 21,457 new cars (model years 2001-2005) tested, only two failed. Nonetheless, motorists with non-polluting cars paid $1.9 million in fees. The state of Oregon reported the same 97 percent passage rate last year.

Many Kentucky motorists complained of the need to drive to one testing station in each of the three county subject to the program, and that the testing stations did not accept credit cards.

In response, legislators have been fighting for years to end the testing program. After approving legislation to end testing in Louisville, a federal judge in January last year had ruled that ending the program without EPA approval violated the Clean Air Act. The state now has appropriate permission to close the Northern Kentucky testing program.

Article Excerpt:
Consumers have long complained about the cost and inconvenience of the tests. Northern Kentucky state lawmakers, who were instrumental in the program's demise, said the program was ineffective because less than 4 percent of the vehicles tested failed. "This has been a long-awaited result," state Sen. Dick Roeding, R-Lakeside Park, said. "I have always been convinced that environmental quality can be achieved without this excessively burdensome program."
Source: Ky. ending tailpipe tests in 2 months (Cincinnati Enquirer (OH), 9/29/2005)



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