WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) – New legislation could change part of Pennsylvania’s vehicle emissions testing program.
Currently, 25 counties across the state are required to conduct annual emissions testing. Westmoreland County Republican State Senator Kim Ward questions whether it’s necessary at all.
“It doesn’t make sense,” said Ward. “It’s really time to make some progress here for consumers.”
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Senator Ward says 96% of cars across the state meet or exceed the clean air standards. In Westmoreland County, that number is 98%.
“There is no reason for us not to move forward and make change.”
That is why she is part of a Republican-led team introducing a bill to eliminate emissions testing from seven counties, including Westmoreland.
Other bills propose the idea of not having an emissions test until the car is 8-years-old.
Senator Ward says other states like New York and California have similar legislation.
“And because the fail rate across the state is 4%, we also have a bill that says every two years after the eight years.”
Donnie Zappone runs his family’s auto shop in Greensburg and he says the testing should not be eliminated but agrees with the eight-year plan.
“They should have it,” said Zappone. “It’s good for the environment and for us to try to do better.”
Zappone hopes with whatever legislation is brought forth in Harrisburg, mechanics are involved in the discussion.
“Because we’re the ones that are kind of implementing it and we would be the ones doing it.”
Senator Ward says the bills are currently being drafted and hopes to have them out of the Senate transportation committee in June.