State adopts changes to emission testing

August 30, 2011

By Staff

The owners of some vehicles may no longer need to undergo emission testing after July 2012, as the state Department of Ecology prepares to enact rule changes to the testing program.

The state requires certain vehicles in King County and other densely populated areas to undergo emission tests to reduce air pollution.

Under the rule change required by the Legislature and due to go into effect next summer, all 2009 and newer model year vehicles do not require testing. In addition, additional businesses may be authorized to conduct tests. The rule change also eliminates some emission tests.

The measure calls for the same standards to be used for all 1995 model year and older gasoline vehicles. The rule change exempts light-duty diesel vehicles from testing and tightens test standards for heavy-duty diesel vehicles. The measure nixes the gas cap test and dynamometer testing.

Department of Ecology officials posted the complete rule and supporting documents on the agency’s air quality website. The agency announced the impending rule change Thursday.

The agency accepted public comments on the proposal in March and held a public hearing on proposed changes in Federal Way.

Besides King County, vehicles in Clark, Pierce, Snohomish and Spokane counties undergo emission tests.

If a vehicle needs to undergo the test, the owner receives a reminder inside his or her tab renewal notice or email reminder reading, “This vehicle must pass a Washington emission inspection.” Then, the vehicle must be tested before he or she can renew the tabs.

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