HARRISBURG – The Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee today unanimously approved a resolution sponsored by Sen. Wayne Langerholc (R-35) seeking a comprehensive review of the potential impact of removing Cambria County from vehicle emissions testing requirements.
Cambria County is one of 25 Pennsylvania counties where vehicles are currently required to undergo emissions testing as part of annual safety inspections.
Senate Resolution 168, which now goes to the full Senate for approval, directs the Joint State Government Commission to perform a detailed study of the potential impact of removing Cambria County from the emissions testing requirement.
The testing requirement, which was first implemented in 1997 and expanded to include Cambria County in 2003, was based on air quality data from the 1990s. Local air quality has steadily improved since that time, leading Cambria County to be designated as an attainment area in 2008.
“The emissions testing requirement for Cambria County made sense 20 years ago to ensure the worst-polluting vehicles were removed from our roadways, but advances in vehicle emissions technology have helped to ease many local concerns regarding air quality,” Langerholc said. “After nearly a decade of our region meeting federal air quality standards, it is a great time to take a closer look at whether this requirement even makes sense for Cambria County, and what costs we might incur if that requirement was removed.”
“To remove the emissions testing requirement,” Langerholc said, “the state Department of Environmental Protection is required to submit a revised State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for approval.”
Langerholc’s resolution includes a requirement for the Joint State Government Commission to provide recommendations for lawmakers regarding the cost of submitting a revised SIP and any potential loss of environmental credits or other financial impacts resulting from the removal of the emissions requirement for Cambria County residents.