Washington State Eliminating Some Emissions Testing

Sep 13, 2011

With all of the concern over vehicle emissions and environmental issues these days, it seems surprising that any state would be lowering emissions testing. But that’s exactly what is set to happen in the Pacific Northwest, according to Automotive Fleet:
The State of Washington plans to exempt light-duty vehicles 2009-MY and newer in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties from emissions testing as of July 1, 2012, according to the Washington Department of Ecology.

For those counties, the changes also allow additional types of businesses to receive authorization to conduct emissions testing on vehicles that still require it (i.e. those older than 2009-MY and those mentioned below).


The new policy makes some major changes to emissions requirements:


  • Eliminates gas cap test and dynamometer testing
  • Uses the same test standards for all 1995 model year and older gasoline vehicles
  • Exempts light-duty diesel vehicles from testing
  • Tightens the test standards for heavy-duty diesel vehicles
  • Exempts heavy-duty diesel vehicles if their engines meet 2007 emission standards or they are equipped with an exhaust particle filter

Anchorage, Alaska is also looking to eliminate some emissions requirements, bolstered by the mayor’s claim that the city hasn’t violated federal air-quality standards for carbon monoxide since 1996.

Since the tests are only changed for newer-model vehicles, the real environmental results seem to be fairly negligible. But what do you think? Should emissions standards change or stay the same to promote better maintenance?

Photo courtesy of Paul ’78 and re-used under the Creative Commons license.