This week's 'Ask Evan' question comes from Rodney L. He asks, "If the emissions inspection is state law, why aren't some counties required to perform it along with the state inspection?"
In 1990 Congress set the requirement for an enhanced emissions testing program as part of the Federal Clean Air Act Amendment.
Of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania, there are currently 25 counties designated as requiring an emissions inspection program. Those are based on air quality needs and population density thresholds. In our area that includes Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York counties.
Vehicles registered in the other 42 counties are not required to pass an emissions inspection. In our area, those include Adams, Franklin, Juniata, Mifflin and Perry counties. However, most are required to pass a visual anti-tampering check as part of a safety inspection -- to make sure emission control components that were installed on a vehicle by the manufacturer are there and operational. That includes things like the catalytic converter and various valves.
The current vehicle emissions inspection program is the minimum required and approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency. PennDOT is simply tasked with enforcing the program.
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