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Posted at 1:15 PM ET, 01/26/2011

Bills would make emissions tests easier in congested NoVa

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

Drivers whose cars are registered in congested Northern Virginia often find themselves waiting in line for emissions inspections every other year.

But a proposal being considered by the General Assembly would allow motorists to complete their inspection by driving past remote sensing emissions sites instead as part of a move to a faster, more convenient way to get their car tested.

"By expanding the availability of on-road remote sensing inspections sites, we can positively impact the lives of Northern Virginia motorists, and help ease some of the challenges associated with emissions inspections while protecting our air quality as well," Del. Joe May (R-Fairfax) said.

The bills -- HB 2029 and SB 1002 call for remote sensing equipment to analyze the exhaust from a vehicle as it passes by on the road.

The equipment uses infrared and ultraviolet light to measure the concentration of specific pollutants in the exhaust plume. If a vehicle meets the emissions criteria established by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the owner will be notified and be able to pay.

Northern Virginia currently has one mobile on-road emissions inspection device. The on-road program is voluntary. Motorists wouls still be able to choose to receive an emissions inspection at a traditional station.

"In these tough times I am committed to doing all I can to make life a little easier for Virginians," Sen. John Watkins (R-Henrico). "This includes looking at opportunities to reduce transportation burdens."

The House bill passed a subcommittee this week. The Senate bill passed a committee this week.

By Anita Kumar  | January 26, 2011; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, General Assembly 2011, House of Delegates, State Senate, Transportation  
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