OLYMPIA – The state of Washington plans to exempt light-duty vehicles 2009-MY and newer in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties from emissions testing as of July 1, 2012. The announcement came from the state’s Department of Ecology.

For those areas of Washington state, the changes to the rules also allow additional types of businesses to receive authorization to conduct emissions testing on vehicles that still require it (i.e. those older than 2009-MY and those mentioned below).

The key changes to the emissions testing rules in the regions specified in Washington are as follows:

  • Making the rule easier to understand
  • Eliminating the gas cap test and dynamometer testing
  • Using the same test standards for all 1995 model year and older gasoline vehicles
  • Exempting light-duty diesel vehicles from testing
  • Tightening the test standards for heavy-duty diesel vehicles
  • Exempting heavy-duty diesel vehicles if their engines meet 2007 emission standards or they are equipped with an exhaust particle filter

In addition, the Municipality of Anchorage in Alaska is looking to eliminate its Inspection & Maintenance (I/M) program, which involves emissions testing, according to a news release from Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan’s office.

In Anchorage, Mayor Sullivan contends that the city hasn’t violated federal air-quality standards for carbon monoxide since 1996. In addition, the mayor’s office said current models show Anchorage can continue to meet the standard even if the I/M program is eliminated. The announcement said city officials learned that the EPA will likely approve the submission to eliminate the program because it satisfies the requirements of the Clean Air Act.

By Greg Basich