Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Is IM Testing On Its Way Out Of Anchorage?
Despite voting to end vehicle emissions testing nearly a year ago, the inspection and maintenance exams are still required..
For years, the Anchorage Assembly went back and forth on whether to stop emissions testing.
Then last May the body finally settled on getting rid of the exam.
However, now the issue is in the hands of the Environmental Protection Agency.
“We have a March 2012 deadline that we [EPA Region 10] need to meet,” said Mark MacIntyre, U.S. EPA spokesperson for Region 10.
“But at the same time we need to respect the technical part, the legal part and then the public part of the rulemaking process. People get to comment on our decision and then we need to take those comments to heart.”
The EPA says the process is complicated especially considering that carbon monoxide inspection and maintenance is at issue.
Once the decision is made, the EPA says it can't control what happens next.
“How Alaska then deals with that information and how quickly they work through with whatever process they have, I have no way of telling,” MacIntyre said.
So how does the process move forward?
Diane Ingle, director of the Department of Health and Human Services says, “What will happen, is once EPA gives its final approval that we can end the program then the ordinance and the municipality, pad allows for a 6 month discontinuation process.”
For those who have to dole out at least $100 in fees, the program's end can't come soon enough.
“I am sympathetic to that as a person. The reality of it, however, is that we are obligated by the federal government and the state government to run this program until it comes to its legal conclusion,” she continued.
But that conclusion could be at least a year away.