Fumed over state's emission omission - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Fumed over state's emission omission

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Some Memphis City Council members are outraged the State of Tennessee doesn't plan to require vehicle emissions inspections for Shelby County residents when it takes over the inspection program.
Council members say this issue needs to be fixed as they don't want Memphians, alone, bearing the brunt of this program.

MORE: State to take over Memphis emissions testing

This all started when the council decided to end the city's management of the vehicle inspection program that will save the city close to $3 million annually. Council members think the entire county should be required to get inspections.

The problem is a vehicle emissions inspection program is required by the EPA. Someone has to run the inspections or the city and county could face sanctions from the federal government. The county has declined to take over and now it looks like, the responsibility will fall on the State of Tennessee.

But, the state has said if it takes over, it won't require county residents to get inspections for at least the next six years, and city residents will have to pay for inspections.
The news does not sit well with Councilman Harold Collins.

"For them to have an agreement signed that says only Memphians contribute to the emissions problems and the pollution in Shelby County, maybe they need a therapist!," he said. "I'm totally not with that. We're not going to lay down on this one and the citizens of Memphis deserve the leadership and we're going to give it to them."

Collins said he wants Mayor A C Wharton and city council to come together and figure out a local solution that won't put all of the pressure on the city.

City officials say this all comes down to fairness. Memphis drivers aren't the only ones contributing to the air pollution issues in Shelby County. That's why they want everyone to face inspections.

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