Vehicle emissions testing in Cache County making a difference

FILE PHOTO: David Etheridge II, a vehicle inspector at DEQ, is shown during a tailpipe emission Thursday, June 22, 2006, in Hillsboro, Ore.  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)  

In Cache County vehicles are not required to have emissions testing during the first five model years. Vehicles that are six or more model years old must obtain smog certification every other year. Vehicles in Cache County have emissions test exemption status if they were manufactured in or before 1968.

A report from the Weber-Morgan health department late last year indicated about 19 percent of diesel vehicles — almost one in five — had failed emissions tests.

The numbers are similar in Cache County.

“One of the groups of diesel vehicles that we test actually failed at about an 18 percent rate as well,” said Josh Greer, Environmental Scientist at the Bear River Health Department. “We do two types of testing of diesel vehicles. For older ones from 1998 to 2006 we do a tampering-based inspection and then 2007 and newer we’re actually plugging in and communicating with the on-board computer to verify it has passed its emissions test.”

Greer said emissions testing, which started back in 2014, is making a difference in Cache County.

“I believe we’re cleaning up vehicles. We are cleaning up the air. We talk a lot about the inversion and how it traps pollution. And we know anything we can do, especially with our vehicles, to reduce the amount of pollution they are putting into that inversion, is going to help us, and I believe it has.”

Greer said the Bear River Health Department has secured funding from the EPA to create a Vehicle Repair Assistance Program.

“For vehicles that have failed testing, we are able to offer money to help get those vehicles repaired in order to pass the testing.”

The Bear River Health Department tests vehicles up to 14,000 pounds, mostly passenger vehicles.

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