I/M Testing Ends March 1
The date will end months before originally planned
Two years after the Anchorage Assembly first moved to end the controversial emissions testing program, the final date is now set in stone.
After a close 6-5 vote Tuesday night, assembly members decided to end the municipality's emissions testing requirement on March 1.
The date falls several months before the body originally planned on ending the program. After the Environmental Protection Agency gave the municipality permission to sunset emissions testing in January, assembly members approved a six-month grace period for businesses and test providers to acclimate before ending the $65-per-test program.
Assemblywoman Jennifer Johnston said she saw no point in extending it for another six months.
"When the public knows there's no more need for it, I think you just start making honest crooks of people," she said Wednesday. "I think there were some folks who felt they made a commitment, and I can understand that: When you give your word, you give your word."
Assemblywoman Harriet Drummond was one of those people.
"We promised several times to the I/M industry that they would have six months," Drummond said.
While Johnston, Ernie Hall, Adam Trombley, Bill Starr, Chris Birch and Assembly Chairwoman Debbie Ossiander voted in favor of ending the program early, Drummond joined assembly members Dick Traini, Paul Honeman, Elvi Gray-Jackson and Patrick Flynn in opposing Tuesday's ordinance.
Drummond said many local business owners had already signed contracts for services necessary to perform the emissions tests over the next six months.
"They're out thousands of dollars that they won't be able to recoup," she said. "We're going to have a lot of people out of work because we ended this early."