Local News

Vehicle emissions tests no longer required in 26 NC counties

Posted September 25, 2018 7:23 p.m. EDT
Updated September 26, 2018 12:48 p.m. EDT

Tailpipe, exhaust generic

— Annual vehicle inspections in 26 North Carolina counties will no longer include emissions tests, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA has removed Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Craven, Edgecombe, Granville, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson from the emissions test requirement because they comply with the ozone air quality standards, officials said. Ending the requirement won't interfere with the counties' ability to remain in compliance with any air quality standards, they said.

"A combination of federal and state regulations has improved air quality in North Carolina such that emissions testing is no longer required in certain counties," EPA Region 4 Administrator Trey Glenn said in a statement. "This ... is anticipated to save consumers in these areas money on annual emissions inspections."

Emissions testing is still required in 22 North Carolina counties, including Wake County. Such tests help improve air quality by identifying cars and trucks with high emissions that may need repairs, officials said.

The state Department of Environmental Quality still must certify the change, and then the state Division of Motor Vehicles will have 60 days to implement it, said Sharon Martin, a spokeswoman for the state Division of Air Quality.