ST. LOUIS – Emission testing could soon be a thing of the past for people living in counties surrounding St. Louis.
The Missouri Senate voted to end testing for residents in St. Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin counties, but the Post-Dispatch said ending the federally mandated emissions program in those counties could result in the loss of $52 million in funding for MoDOT.
The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Bill Eigel, a Republican from Weldon Spring said he doesn’t believe the EPA will take action against the state. Opponents say they don’t like taking that risk.
“Right now there are only five counties in the whole state that have the requirement. These three plus St. Louis City and St. Louis County,” Eigel said. “We have been seeing emissions levels with progress. We have seen for decades now even with progress. But the federal government has been un responsive letting us out of the requirements.”
During the debate, some opponents of the legislation said if the bill becomes law, the federally mandated emissions program could result in the loss of millions in funding for the Missouri Department of Transportation.
Senator Eigel disagrees.
“I don’t think that will happen. I have filed this bill three of four years and each year we file the bill, we get a different threat that they are going to withhold some cash if we don’t comply with the mandate.“
JC Car Care Complete Auto Repair reacted to the idea of getting rid of Missouri vehicle emission testing in St. Charles.
“Most people do pay attention when their engine light comes on. The emission test for us is really about the engine light and most people will fix their vehicle anyway. If it went away tomorrow, we would probably see some short-term impact and things would then level out,” Michael Deak said.
Senate Bill- 40 passed out of the Missouri Senate on Thursday and will now head to the House. If it passes out of the house, assuming the governor signs the bill, it would go into effect on Aug. 28, 2021.