Nov 12, 2021 - Politics

Emissions tests under fire in Davidson County

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At least 23 council members have signed onto a resolution that would end emissions testing for drivers in Davidson County.

  • Councilmember Kevin Rhoten, the lead sponsor, says it was driven by new automotive technology that reduced harmful vehicle emissions.

Why it matters: Tennessee has for years moved to eliminate emissions testing. Testing in five other counties will end in January, leaving Nashville as the only holdout.

Driving the news: Before petitioning to roll back emissions testing in other counties, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation compiled a report showing testing was no longer needed to meet air quality standards.

What he's saying: "Cars have been required to reduce emissions for going on 40 years now," Rhoten tells Axios. "People don’t understand why they have to wait an hour, two hours in line to get their cars tested when they have a relatively new car."

Yes, but: In a statement to WSMV, the Metro Public Health Department sounded a note of caution about the "risk" of ending testing, saying vehicles "remain the largest source of air pollution in Davidson County."

What's next: Rhoten's resolution is on the agenda for next week's council meeting, although he says he might delay a vote to give other members time to review.


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