With all due respect to TDEC officials, in my humble opinion, the main reason emissions are going down is not because of emissions testing, but due to the following: fewer older cars are on the road, thus the newer vehicles produce less emissions.
I would like to see emissions testing stopped for a period of one year, and an independent agency test the air quality now, and after one year. I would venture to say the air quality will continue to improve as more and more newer vehicles are on the road.
This is just common sense, nothing more.
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Emissions testing is an isidious tax placed on the people of Hamilton County. How could it possibly make a difference when none of the surrounding counties have it?
It penalizes people who have older vehicles who maybe can't afford to buy a new one.
What were the county fathers thinking when the voted for this tax?
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Liz Norris asks, "What were the county fathers thinking when the[y] voted for this tax?"
If you can find the early print-news reports about Hamilton County emissions testing plans (2004?), their thoughts were pretty obvious--for a day or two. Public knowledge of their thoughts may not have been intended, but somebody let the cat out of the bag.
If I recall correctly it was plainly stated that 'the county fathers' made some kind of deal with the federal government, in which the county agreed to impose individual private vehicle emissions testing in return for the feds lightening up on local officials in some other way pertaining to EPA regulations. 'The county fathers' took the easy way out, at the citizens' expense.
That 'news' quickly disappeared from view, though; unfortunately, our $10 annual testing ordeal continues.
An important fact known by most automotive experts and journalists but ignored by most politicians is that for the last several years, new cars sold in America and driven in our cities actually act as air cleaning machines. The exhaust fumes 'spewed out' by modern cars are cleaner than the air those engines sucked in from city streets. (Yes, good air filters remove even pollen.)
So we don't really need to hold our breath any more when walking in town. But don't hold your breath waiting for the $10 emissions testing to end; somebody's enjoying that $7.95 per vehicle the independent testing company receives.
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Larry says, "......The exhaust fumes 'spewed out' by modern cars are cleaner than the air those engines sucked in from city streets....."
If that were actually the case, I'm sure many folks wanting to commit suicide in their new cars by hooking up a garden hose to the tailpipe will now be even more depressed.
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I wanted to let you all know I am not some environmental hating person. I am a God fearing, God loving, individual who loves the land He has given us. George Washington said “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible”. Before this thing even started, I prayed for guidance. I gave this to God from the very beginning. He had me to research and try to find proof that this testing helped our environment.
Mr. Fields said in the commission meeting that TDEC said it keeps us in line with the air quality standards. How do they know it keeps us in line when it in itself can not be measured? There is no proof. There is proof that the this testing and 19 other measures together keeps us in line, but TDEC and APCB both said emissions testing in itself cannot be measured. If it can’t be measured, it can’t be proven effective.
After finding this out, He continued to have me research to get all the facts I could about this testing which Mr. Stephens and Mr. Stykes were helpful in giving. In doing all this research, do you know what I found? I found that without a doubt, this testing does target and hurt the low income people in this county. It hurts those who work hard and struggle daily to put food on the table for their family. Yes, there is a waiver, but you still have to spend $75 -$650 (depending on the model of your vehicle) in qualifying repairs to get the waiver which is only good for a year. That is not a lot of money to some, but it is to struggling people. This is not “bitter medicine.” This is abuse of power and extortion in my opinion.
This testing might help pollution and it may not. Why not stop it for a while and find out? EPA said it could be stopped in doing a technical demonstration. Mr. Stykes said that is easier said than done, but he didn’t say it was impossible.
My plea is that you will pray for God to guide you in this decision. He has guided me through this and showed me this testing is wrong. We should help the environment, but not at the expense of our citizens, especially our poor or low income. Please thoroughly research emissions testing and pray for God’s guidance. Mr. Stykes is very willing to answer any questions you may have.
There are proven facts and there are theories where this testing is concerned. Please use the facts to make your decision, not just hearsay and theories. In the end, when the decision is made about what to do in this and in any other decisions to be made in this county, please be sure God is pleased with your decision.
There is nothing that says you can not prayerfully make your decisions. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. Proverbs 14:31 He who oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker, But he who honors Him has mercy on the needy. You are all in my prayers.