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Stanly dropped from emissions testing

Stanly County motorists are getting a reprieve with their annual inspections, at least partly.

Effective December, car and trucks owners in 26 North Carolina counties will no longer have to undergo emissions testing when getting their vehicle inspected. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced last week that 26 counties of the 48 in the state where it has been required no longer have to comply with the emissions inspection.

Last year, the state Department of Environmental Quality reported that the air quality in the state had improved to the level that emissions testing in those counties was no longer necessary.

However, the tests are still required annually in the remaining 22 counties.

Vehicle owners should experience a break in the cost of the annual inspection fees since the emissions component will be removed from the tab. In fact, the cost of an inspection should be cut more than half since the emissions testing cost $16.40.

An annual safety inspection, which is still required, costs $13.60.

The objective behind emissions testing is to ensure vehicles high in pollutants make necessary repairs to reduce the cause of smog.

Vehicles built before 1995 and many newer models with low mileage are exempt from emissions testing.

Incidentally, all of the counties contiguous to Stanly are still required to undergo emissions testing.

Contact Ritchie Starnes at 704-754-5076 or ritchie.starnes@stanlynewspress.com.