Re: State To Rebid Contract Next Year On Emissions Inspections; Knowles Suggests Changes Response
First of all, if they want to help the air quality, they need to put the burden on the industries they bring into Hamilton County and take the burden off the citizens. I have researched this testing and spent several hours on the phone getting answers to questions about it. It boils down to two things, money and industry.
I am all for new industry which creates new jobs, but big industry should have strict air quality guidelines. The automobile industry should also have the burden of air quality in the products they sell. If they make and sell the products, this is where emissions testing should stop, not by making the citizens pass this testing, years after buying their product. What is stopping our representatives from going a step farther and making us test our boats, lawnmowers, weed eaters, chain saws, ATV’s, motorcycles, etc.
EPA also needs to revise their standards a little. They make it impossible for any county to stay “in attainment.” I understand they are there to protect us from dangerous air levels, but they are really going overboard here. I have asthma and am thrilled to breathe clean air, but unless the county cuts down all trees, all flowers, kill all grass and animals, and finds a way to get rid of all dust particles, my asthma along with everyone else’s will continue.
Second, This is extortion. Our county and state representatives are not acting on our behalf by keeping this testing. We have over 1,000 signatures on a petition showing that we the people of this county are fed up with this testing. We could have easily gotten thousands more, but 1,000 seemed sufficient at the time. If they are going to keep the testing, which it sounds like they are, they absolutely need to stop failing vehicles just because of the check engine light. Most reasons for this light to appear is electrical and are not air quality related at all.
As far as new car and new owner transfer privileges, that is just dandy. This will help those who can afford to buy new vehicles and the dealerships. What about the people who this testing actually hurts. What about those who have no other means of transportation other than an old car that won’t pass the testing. What about the people who can’t afford $75 to $650 in repairs to qualify for a one year pass on their vehicle, just to have to do it all over again the next year? We are missing the most important fact here. This testing in itself can not be tested, which means we have no way of knowing if this burden is helping our air quality at all.
The fact is, it is an unnecessary burden on the citizens of this county. In 2006 Mr. Stykes, of Envirotest said “four factors must be weighed in implementation of an emission testing program, the third of which was the political will of the government and whether the citizens will stand for it.” Well, we are not willing to stand for this useless type of extortion anymore. It is time to contact our representatives and let them know this.
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The County Clerk was indeed acting in behalf of the motoring public by offering ways to improve emission testing.
The engine check light re-evaluation suggestion was made to lessen the possibility of motorists with used vehicles being rejected by test rules-- perhaps from a faulty light and not pollution. A change in this area would also help motorists without onboard computers gain a tail pipe test. Since the actual exhaust must be tested to pass/fail, it seems that a check engine light should not automatically disqualify a vehicle from examination.
The two year exemption for new vehicles would not favor dealers but would spare purchasers two inspections when the factory has already tested the systems and furnished a warranty backing it up.
The one year waiver would assist motorists purchasing used vehicles that have already passed an emissions test in a recent time period. Why should a vehicle tested today be required to be retested next week if it changed ownership?
Emission testing was originated in Washington by the EPA, and is managed locally by the Tennessee Division of Air Pollution Control. Theyare totally responsible for the administration of the program. The only legal task assigned to the Clerk’s office is to verify compliance.
My personal attempt to influence the state in making it easier for busy and frustrated motorists to comply with their requirements will continue. I will focus on problems motorists experience, and pass their concerns along to higher authorities. We all can only hope that someone will listen and help.
Hamilton County Clerk
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My question is why should I have to drive behind vehicles from Catoosa county as they belch white smoke out of the tailpipe on their way to work in Chattanooga, and watch car after car and truck after truck from out of state drive right through, yet I have had to park one of my vehicles for two years because I can't pass emission testing?
This whole program is a joke and everyone with any sense knows it is about revenue. If we routed I-24 and I-75 around the city and not through it, we would have little or no pollution. I remember the thick smog hanging over the city in the 60's and 70's and this city is squeaky clean compared to then, and we have won many environmental awards for cleaning it up....now all of a sudden we are dirty again? I'm not convinced, and consider it more needless regulation that hurts everyone, especially those who can least afford it.
I think maybe we need to start voting people out until someone listens.
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Mr, Knowles who are you related to or know very well at the the testing company because it sounds like you are their PR person. This is just a racket that was devised form not getting the wheel tax a few years back.
I am a registered voter and plan to make this my number one issue when choosing my next county representative (Mr. Skillern). I will encourage others in different districts to do the same.
I have seen no data or any good argument that the testing has helped anybody other than those that stand to profit from it. You know the program is crooked when a government official determines how much should be spent (up to $750) to get a one year county waiver. Every resident in the county should be appalled at this backdoor method of getting a wheel tax that the people clearly voted against.
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I have an older minivan that does not have OBD, or On Board Diagnostics. That means when I stop by for my annual emissions test, they can't check my computer since I don't have one. So they go old school. They insesrt a sensor in the tail pipe of the vehicle to see if the actual emissions are within standards.
Here's the problem. Four years ago, my check engine light came on. I took it to a mechanic who changed the O2 sensor, and for two weeks, the check engine light stayed off. Then it came back on. There was no way I was going to pay for a new repair. So what do I do?
I disconnect my battery before I go the the testing center. The unplugged battery disables the check engine light for long enough for me to get it tested with no "red flag" on my dashboard. My test consists of them checking the seal on my gas cap and testing a sample of the air coming out of my tail pipe. The tail pipe emissions are just fine. I have passed the test for three years now. Little do they know that my check engine light is really on.
What I suggest is that when a check engine light is on, the customer has the option to go for the tail pipe test. If the actual emissions are within acceptable ranges, don't reject the customer on the sole basis of the check engine light being on. If the emissions don't meet the standards, then a repair should be required.
I am glad to and should be responsible for my vehicle to insure that it does not have a negative environmental impact. But the "check engine light disqualification" is based on an administrative decision--not a law. For the sake of others in my situation, rethink the decision while simultaneously upholding high standards for air quality.