Car emissions testing starts in Canyon County


Tom Schultz, director of the Idaho Department of Lands, told a legislative interim committee that investments from the endowment lands produced a record return in fiscal year 2014.

Drivers in Canyon County will need to start getting their vehicles tested for emissions including carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.  The emissions test, which costs $11 and is required every other year, is part of a law passed by the Legislature two years ago that gives the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) the authority to administer tests in the hope that pollution in the Treasure Valley won’t rise and trigger federal action from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Vehicles in neighboring Ada County are already subject to testing.

Opposition from Canyon County commissioners and some Canyon County lawmakers has been unsuccessful so far.  An attempt to block the testing from Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, failed in a Idaho House committee in February.  In May, county commissioners sent a letter asking Gov. Butch Otter to delay the testing’s June 1 starting date.  The letter claims that there have been problems with the testing program and that Canyon County drivers aren’t responsible for most of the vehicle pollution in the Treasure Valley.  “This has been a boondoggle from the beginning, and you, as Governor, have the authority to call a time out, slow down the process, and make sure it’s the right thing to do before it’s too late,” the letter said.

The governor has yet to formally respond to the letter as testing is set to begin in Canyon County.  Jon Hanian, Otter’s press secretary, said the governor’s staff and DEQ are still researching the issue, and could weigh in on the letter this week.  The governor told a group of reporters in February that he prefers DEQ’s testing over the potential for federal environmental regulators to get involved with southwest Idaho’s air quality.

Canyon County commissioners have suggested alternatives to vehicle testing, including encouraging carpooling and use of public transportation, to reduce pollution from vehicles.  DEQ officials have rejected these proposals, saying they wouldn’t result in emission reductions equal to a vehicle inspection program.

DEQ has contracted with SysTech International to administer the vehicle tests, and has 20 locations for testing in Canyon County.  Systech’s website for testing, which has a list of the locations, says that 97 percent of Canyon County residents live within five miles of a testing location.  Vehicle owners will be required to get their car tested every other year when they renew their registration.  Cars made in even-numbered years must start getting tested this year, and cars made in odd-numbered years will need to be tested next year, under current regulations.

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The Department of Environmental Quality is in charge of vehicle emissions tests starting in Canyon County, The Department of Environmental Quality is in charge of vehicle emissions tests starting in Canyon County, The Department of Environmental Quality is in charge of vehicle emissions tests starting in Canyon County, The Department of Environmental Quality is in charge of vehicle emissions tests starting in Canyon County
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8 Comments

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  2. Buddy

    Unreal! Like people don’t have enough on them now. No work, barely getting by and they want $11 dollars to test my old junk that I know will not pass! What will poor people do? It can cost hundreds to get these old vehicles up to the EPA standards. Are they trying to force people into buying new cars? I personally will set my two autos on fire before I submit to their will. I guess it’s back to riding bicycles or a horse. I do have an old tractor and I don’t think they are after farm equipment yet. It will be tough loading the wife and kids onto it and going to town. Especially in the winter. But I’ll do it! You bet I will.

  3. Billy

    State of Idaho: “Let’s change the Law, make sure it makes money for the State – then we’ll hold a gun to their heads and threaten to jail them if they don’t comply”.

    I say DOWN WITH OUR DAMNED GOVERNMENT – AND ALL YOU DIRTY, ROTTEN, STINKING BASTARDS IN IT.

    SCREW YOU! And I hope I get the chance to make sure YOU get screwed for a change!

  4. american college comparison

    Unreal! Like people don’t have enough on them now. No work, barely getting by and they want $11 dollars to test my old junk that I know will not pass! What will poor people do? It can cost hundreds to get these old vehicles up to the EPA standards. Are they trying to force people into buying new cars? I personally will set my two autos on fire before I submit to their will. I guess it’s back to riding bicycles or a horse. I do have an old tractor and I don’t think they are after farm equipment yet. It will be tough loading the wife and kids onto it and going to town. Especially in the winter. But I’ll do it! You bet I will.

  5. Wilma Peden

    I have not received a letter as yet requireing me to get my car tested for emissions. I registered my car in May 2010. When will I receive my letter for the testing? I’m really confused about all of this since this all started in June 2010. The year of my car is a 2000. Please respond through the e-mail. Thanks
    Wilma Peden

  6. Laura Weston

    I need to know if I didn’t get the letter where do i go to check if registration was revoked, my daughter got stopped in Boise on Friday night for suspended registration and we never received a letter about her car. I have 2001 please respond with email thanks

  7. Benjamin Flanagan

    Classic Cars should be exempt. A lot automobiles original engines were slightly modified over the years and can cost hundereds and hundereds dollars to return them to original condition. It appears to me this whole emissions thing is a win win for the “state” and the “repair shops” with no long term benefits for the public. I lived in Cherry Hill, NJ 50+ years ago and I can remember crossing the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to Philadelphia, PA in the summer and seeing a brownish pink haze over the city most days. Back then in NJ and PA, a inspection and emissions sticker was required for all cars but the haze was still there. Since that time I have been back there numerous times, including recently, and with even more stringent emissions laws and automobile inspections, the haze is “still” there. Los Angeles, California has for years and still has, one of the toughest emission standards for automobiles in the land. Yet it still has some of the worst haze over LA than any city in the nation.
    We are letting a few enviromentalists in Canyon County control the many. Time to put a stop to The Department of Environmental Quailtys emission testing in Canyon County. WE the People can’t afford it!!

  8. Robert Minter

    This car emission testing is BS, the board acts like you have stabbed them in the eye or something. I believe it to be a farce since I see construction and older cars, tractors and multiple county and state rigs that are probably exempt from any testing at all on the roads,these assholes make the people responsible for all the things they cannot be responsible for like a open wallet some educated asshole comes up with a bullshit excuse to rape the public. I say screw you AQB your funding should be cut from the budget completely, they are probably not even a state owned agency and probably a private business. We pay enough money already and if you law makers were not so greedy and simple minded you would stop misusing it or stealing it. Idiots!

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