URGENT LEGISLATIVE ALERT (UPDATE)
Arizona Bill to Exempt Vehicles 40-Years Old and Older From Emissions Inspections Dead for the Year
Legislation (H.B. 2600) to exempt all vehicles manufactured in or before the model year “that is forty years before the year in which the inspection is due” was not considered in committee before the mandatory deadline. The bill is dead for the year.
In 2011, a bill to exempt all vehicles manufactured in model year 1974 and earlier from the state’s mandatory biennial emissions inspection program was signed into law. Before this exemption can go into effect, Arizona regulators are required to submit a plan to the U.S. EPA detailing how the state will address its air quality issues. After the EPA approves this air quality plan, all changes to the plan must be submitted to and approved by the EPA. Exempting vehicles manufactured in 1974 and earlier from the state’s motor vehicle emissions inspection program requires such a change.
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) recently learned that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) intends to submit the plan to the EPA by early 2015. Submissions to the EPA require regulators to compile and analyze data showing that changes to the plan will not significantly affect air quality. According to DEQ staff, compiling and analyzing this data for submission to the EPA has proven a time consuming process. After all the requisite information is submitted to the EPA, the agency will still have another 18 months to approve or reject the changes.
In the meantime, the current exemptions for pre-1967 vehicles and “collectibles” remain in effect. To qualify for the “collectible” exemption, a vehicle must be maintained primarily for use in club activities, exhibitions, parades or other functions of public interest and have a collectible vehicle or classic automobile insurance policy restricting use. The collectible exemption also requires the owner own a secondary vehicle for general transportation.
Questions regarding the DEQ submission to EPA can be directed to Trevor Baggiore, Deputy Director Air Quality Division, at (602) 771-2321.
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