Governor Haslam has decided that the
state will not take over auto inspections in Memphis. City funding for the
emissions testing runs out Friday, June 30. Haslam said tonight, the state also
will not provide any funding for the program and his decision could eventually
cost Memphis and Shelby County millions of dollars.
City council members cut the funding
for auto inspections last year, claiming that it's not fair that Memphis
residents pay, while people outside of the city do not. This left the emissions
testing responsibility to either the county or the state to take over.
After July 1st, Mayor Wharton said the
state will notify the EPA that Memphis has ended the program. That will put the
state out of compliance with federal air quality standards and this means the EPA
will more than likely give the state eighteen months to come into compliance
with the federal standards.
Wharton wrote in a letter to council
members that he will be talking to Mayor Luttrell about the next steps that the
local air pollution control office may take.