Yesterday, Florida Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation activists attended an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing on the state of Florida’s decision to abolish its vehicle emissions testing.
The St. Petersburg Times noted that CSEF brought a “platoon of T-shirt wearing members” to the hearings to speak in support of Gov. Bush’s and the legislature’s passage of SB 722, which eliminated vehicle emission inspections.
“These areas have already met federal air quality standards,” said Florida CSE Director Slade O’Brien. “These restrictions were never meant to be permanent. This is the whole point of our environmental progress, and let’s hope the EPA doesn’t make us turn back the clock.”
Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Duval, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties had been included in the vehicle testing program during the early 1990s as part of their efforts to comply with federal air quality standards. These areas now have met federal standards for several years, meaning that programs like vehicle testing need no longer be included in the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for air quality filed with the EPA.
EPA must now approve the revision to Florida’s SIP. Should EPA disapprove, Florida would be considered in violation of the Clean Air Act and could suffer sanctions such as restrictions on new business development and a cutoff of highway funds.
To see published articles on this story, click on the links below:
St. Petersburg Times
Emissions test hearing ends with a whimper
Program’s critics, supporters air views on ending auto emissions testing