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Blair could see the end of vehicle emissions tests

Public hearing on exempting some counties set for Friday in Latrobe

HARRISBURG — The Senate Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing Friday in Latrobe on exempting Blair, Cambria and five other counties from annual emissions testing.

The hearing will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon at SpringHill Suites (Latrobe Club Room), 115 Arnold Palmer Drive in Latrobe, Sens. Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, and Wayne Langerholc, R-Cambria, announced.

The other counties that could be exempted Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer and West­moreland.

The nonpartisan Joint State Government Commission issued a report in response to Senate Resolution 168 of 2017 that recommends the seven counties may be removed from annual vehicle emissions testing.

To remove this requirement, the state Department of Environ­mental Protection must submit a revised State Implementation Plan to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for approval.

“Vehicle emissions testing costs our constituents an average of $40 every year,” Ward said.

“We now have empirical evidence that suggests certain counties, such as Westmoreland, could be removed from this onerous regulation. I decided to hold this hearing to modernize our vehicle emissions program and to ensure the commonwealth delivers regulatory relief and cost-savings to our constituents,” Ward said.

Langerholc said in a release, “I am grateful that the Senate Transportation Committee is coming to our region to discuss this important matter and gain input,” Langerholc said. “For nearly a decade, our region has met federal air quality standards, so it makes sense for local motorists to no longer have to pay for costly and unnecessary testing that may be necessary in more urban areas of the state.”

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