Clearing the air

<p class=”p1″>A new Cache County ordinance under consideration may require Logan citizens to have emissions testing on their vehicles.</p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“They haven’t done it yet,” said Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon. “I think it will happen within the next three months.”  </span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Lemon said a new car would possibly be exempt from emissions testing for the first six years. He said vehicles manufactured after 1996 would have an on-board diagnostics test, which is a computer chip that identifies whether or not the car is functioning properly. Vehicles older than 1996 would undergo a tailpipe emissions test.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Lemon said in the past, the county hasn’t seen a need for the ordinance.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“I think the reason we resisted it is because it’s not that effective,” Lemon said. “What it will do is reduce emissions from automobiles by about 5 to 6 percent.”</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>Angelo Papastamos, planning manager for the Utah Department of Transportation, met with Logan City Transit and USU officials Thursday to discuss ways Cache Valley can reduce travel and improve air quality.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“Our TravelWise program started about three years ago,” Papastamos said. “We’re really trying to encourage people to not drive in their single-occupant vehicle. That’s the basic goal to it.”</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>TravelWise is in partnership with UTA in the Wasatch Front area as well as cities and private businesses.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“We’re working with citizens, businesses, agencies, anyone who will listen to us to talk about this,” Papastamos said. “It’s very challenging to work at UDOT in this arena when we’re building highways, but we’re very excited to be up here. We think there’s a lot of great things that could happen up here.”</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>The three main goals of TravelWise are to improve air quality, reduce energy usage and optimize mobility. TravelWise consultant Kim Clark said strengthening the economy is a recent addition to the list of goals.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>“It really is behavior change,” Clark said. “It’s not something that we can engineer people to do, per se. There are things that we can certainly do, but a lot of it is a mindset that we really need to get into and change.”</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>During the meeting, a USU professor of agricultural applied economics presented ways Cache Valley could reduce its travel, including the idea of business owners leasing parking spots to employees. He said the business would give each employee a parking space with the option for the employee to sell it back for a substantial amount. That way, more employees would be willing to carpool.</span></p>

<p class=”p2″><span class=”s1″>To read this article in its entirety, visit the <a href=”http://www.usustatesman.com/clearing-the-air-1.2804862#.UQF3GPJZOSo” target=”_blank”>Utah Statesman website</a>.</p><p class=”p2″></span></p>

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