State Rep. Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah), Sen. Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Sen. Todd Gardenhire today introduced legislation that would end mandatory emissions testing for vehicles in Tennessee.
The bill, House Bill 1782 — which is receiving unanimous support from members of the Chattanooga Legislative Delegation, as well as Tennessee General Assembly members — would apply to Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, and Wilson Counties where vehicle emissions testing is still required prior to vehicle registration or renewal.
"The idea that we have to choose between clean air and placing costly, burdensome regulations on Tennessee's working families is a false choice, and I reject it," Carter said. "Vehicle emissions testing is a perfect example of a well-intentioned government program with harmful, unintended consequences for Tennessee's middle class. Frankly it has outlived its usefulness. I'll be happy to see it go."
"Vehicle owners in these counties should not be penalized as the standards have been met," Watson said. "Emission testing is not only time-consuming, but has costs attached, which are especially hard on low-income families. This legislation would relieve this burdensome regulation for citizens in these six counties."
"The people who can least afford it are being penalized," Gardenhire added. "Most of our automobile pollution has been from truckers and cars passing through Hamilton County, which we have no control over. We are hopeful that we have the support to pass the bill this year."