The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to conduct an investigation of the effect of vehicle emission control requirements on blacks in Hamilton County.
Maxine Cousin, chairman of Concerned Citizens for Justice, and Arthur Anderson, president of the Bus Riders Union, requested the probe in September 2005.
It was referred to EPA on Jan. 9, 2006.
A letter from EPA said the agency would not have standing to investigate matters involving low-income residents, but will look into the matter as far as the effect on black citizens.
A number of local citizens have complained about the costs associated with having to get their vehicles approved at the local testing centers.
County Commissioner Greg Beck said of the probe, "I wish them luck."
He said he would like to see the county take over the testing centers that are now run by the state through a contract with a private firm. He said that would allow for more flexibility.