Petersen concerned about consequences of county emissions vote

It was a wrenching night for Cache County Councilmember Craig Petersen Tuesday when his colleagues voted five to two against implementing what had been referred to as a mandatory vehicle emissions testing program.

Several counties in the state already have a program and Peterson had worked hard to come up with a program that was less expensive and less intrusive than the others. Councilmember Jon White was the only other council member voting for a program which would have been implemented next year.

“I respect the position of my colleagues who voted against emissions testing and I share many of the concerns that they have,” Petersen said the day following the vote. “But I’m concerned about the consequences of the vote.

“We may end up with actions imposed on us that are more severe than the relatively moderate program that was proposed by the county.”

Petersen says he has no idea how the Utah Division of Air Quality or the Environmental Protection Agency will deal with the council’s decision. In the past, there have been talks about withholding transportation money for those who did not go along with councilmembers who voted against the emissions testing program said it would have had resulted in very little reduction in air pollution.

Petersen said as he has gone to meetings of the state he has continually asked for a program specific to Cache Valley but the suggestion has always fallen on deaf ears.

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