House sends vehicle emissions testing bill to governor

House sends vehicle emissions testing bill to governor

April 24th, 2018 by Andy Sher in Breaking News

NASHVILLE — A bill that seeks to end mandatory vehicle-emissions testing in Hamilton County and five other Tennessee counties is on its way to Gov. Bill Haslam's desk after easily winning final approval Tuesday in the House.

Representatives agreed to a Senate-added change on the previously passed House bill, approving it on a 92-0 vote and thus giving final approval. 

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, and Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, the bill requires the state and counties end the programs. 

But that won't occur unless and until it is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. EPA calls the shots on federal Clean Air Act requirements as well as the steps needed to reduce or in maintain reductions in air pollution levels.

State and local officials will have to demonstrate there continued compliance with air quality standards. Hamilton, Davidson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties.

Carter and Watson brought the bill after state officials announced last year that all of Tennessee's 95 counties are in compliance with Clean Air Act requirements with regard to ozone and particulate matter. 

State Department of Environment and Conservation Department officials say it could take three years or more to develop alternatives to the vehicle emissions testing, take them to federal regulators and win approval there.

Contact Andy Sher at or 615-255-0550. Follow him on Twitter @AndySher1.