Wozniak Calls for Reevaluation of Emissions Testing

HARRISBURG,  Jan. 24, 2012 State Sen. John N. Wozniak today formally asked the federal government to reconsider vehicle emissions inspection requirements in Pennsylvania. In a resolution introduced in the state Senate, Wozniak said the emission inspections are ineffective and costly.

“Today’s cars are cleaner and annual emission testing isn’t as effective,” Wozniak said. “Virtually all cars pass the test and it’s time to reevaluate whether it’s just a waste of money for consumers. I think the test needs to be tested.”

Pennsylvania first required vehicle emissions testing a handful of counties in 1997.  Over time, the mandate spread to cars registered in 25 counties.

Only a tiny percentage of cars fail the test, and thousands of drivers of low-emitting vehicles are paying for an annual test that is unnecessary, Wozniak said.

“When it was implemented, it worked. It motivated people get rid of their old cars and upgrade to modern technology,” Wozniak said. “We need to evaluate whether people who made the right choice are being punished by an unnecessary test.  You could be driving a Prius in Cambria County and you have to pay for the test. But if you drive an old pick-up in Indiana County, you’re exempt.”

Wozniak’s resolution asks the U.S. Congress to reevaluate the enhanced emissions inspection program.  Emission testing is required in the following counties: Allegheny, Beaver, Berks, Blair, Bucks, Cambria, Centre, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Washington, Westmoreland and York.