Middletown, Ohio - The state legislature has voted to end mandatory emission testing for SW Ohio this year.
Starting this Saturday, E-check will officially end in seven southwest counties — Clark, Greene, Montgomery, Warren, Butler, Hamilton and Clermont. Testing will continue in 10 counties in Northeast Ohio.
The Regional Air Pollution Control Agency (RAPCA) had recommended modification to E-Check, which would exempt cars 10 years old and younger, eliminate the $19.50 individual charge by tacking a few extra dollars to license renewal from everyone across the state, and expand it to more counties.
The Ohio Environment Protection Agency (OEPA) reported E-check eliminated 100,000 tons of pollution across the state annually. The OEPA has submitted a plan to replace E-check, which helped bring southwest Ohio to 1990 air quality standards. The new OEPA plan must be implemented by May, 2006. Ohio has until 2010 to get the entire state up to air-quality standards approved in 2004. Without a plan, the state could lose federal highway funding.
One provision of the OEPA plan would require all gas stations to sell cleaner-burning gasoline during June, July and August when ozone levels are at their worst. The OEPA estimates the fuel will cost an additional 3 cents per a gallon.