Five counties in Tennessee are ending vehicle emissions testing. The counties are five out of six total Tennessee counties that require emissions testing on vehicles. According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Commissioner David Salyers, “It’s a recognition of the improvement of our state’s air quality and demonstrates the diligence Tennesseans have shown toward achieving and maintaining this goal.”

Testing will officially end in early 2022 for Hamilton, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties. Davidson will still be requiring regular emissions testing.

The vehicle testing will end because of some revisions to the state’s air quality plan approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As reported by WTVF, in February of 2020, the state submitted a revision to the state’s air quality plan through the Environmental Protection Agency, asking for the removal of the vehicle emissions testing program. The revision was approved this week and will be effective as of September 16.

According to legislature passed in 2018, the state has the ability to eliminate vehicle emissions testing in the state 120 days after the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency. The removal of emissions testing will begin on January 14, 2022, 120 days after September 16.

According to Tennessee’s Envirotest website, the testing requirement for the six counties applies to “1975 and newer light duty gasoline and diesel powered vehicles,” as well as “cars and light trucks weighing 10,500 lbs. or less gross vehicle weight rate (GVWR).”

Vehicle emissions testing currently costs $9.00 and the test is valid for 90 days. Vehicles meeting the specifications are required to be tested annually and a test is needed to register a vehicle.

Vehicles exempt from the testing requirement include, “New motor vehicles being registered for the first time, Heavy duty motor vehicles (more than 10,500 lbs. GVWR), Motorcycles, Antique motor vehicles, Electric powered light-duty motor vehicles (excluding all hybrid vehicles), Gasoline-powered light-duty motor vehicles with a designated model year prior to 1975.”

State Representative Joan Carter (R-Ooltewah) celebrated the removal of the emissions testing. In an official statement, Carter said that the program had “outlived its usefulness.” She wrote, “Over the years, more fuel and energy efficient cars on the road made the program largely obsolete.”

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixon), one of the senators responsible for the revisions, called the decision a “Big win for our citizens.”

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee also praised the move, saying, “The vehicle emissions testing requirement is an unnecessary regulation that burdens hardworking TN taxpayers.”

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Hayley Tschetter is a reporter with The Minnesota Sun | Star News Network. Follow Hayley on Twitter or like her Facebook page. Send news tips to hayley@volente.biz.