St. Charles County drivers mixed about vetoed bill that would end emissions tests

Missouri

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. – Emissions tests will continue for drivers who thought they were about to be off the hook. Gov. Mike Parson today vetoed a bill that would’ve ended the emissions mandate in three counties.

HB 661 would’ve ended the emissions test mandate in St. Charles, Franklin and Jefferson Counties. Parson vetoed the bill because of a threat from the federal government to withhold millions in Clean Air Act funds.

Driver James Hollingshead was ok with it.

“It’s all about safety at the end of the day,” Hollingshead said. “Even though I don’t like it, it’s effective.”

Gerry Dudley, on the other hand, said he would have liked to see the mandate revoked.

Last month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency warned Missouri that eliminating emissions tests would violate the Clean Air Act.

Parson cited that threat as his reason for the veto, pointing to a $52 million a year loss in Clean Air Act funds that help pay for roads and bridges.

Some drivers told said they would choose to keep the emissions tests even without that threat.

“Why take that away?” Hollingshead said. “We might as well not have insurance if you’re going to take away emissions tests. It’s all about safety at the end of the day.”

Jordan Denson said he’d “rather have the expense and rather have it the right way than lose out in the long run.”

Legislators who drafted the bill knew of the risk, but they believed the threat to pull funds was a bluff. The bill’s sponsor pointed out not even Kansas City mandates emissions testing – it’s only required now on this side of the state.

“Especially if Kansas City doesn’t have it, and Franklin County does? That’s kind of crazy,” Pam Dudley said.

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