Letters to the Editor

Howard letter: Emissions bill

Idaho citizens should be aware of pending legislation (HB470) … an irresponsible, giant step backward in clean air/environmental policy. This legislation attempts to exempt approximately 40 percent of local vehicles currently required to emissions tests. It also puts us at higher risk of being assessed severe penalties through the modern Clean Air Act (updated/enhanced 1990 during George H.W. Bush’s administration) every day valley air quality exceeds federal guidelines.

Emission testing is a cost-effective, preventative measure that we all share in since we all share the roads and air we breathe. Like mandatory automobile liability insurance, communitywide participation is both fair and necessary to create adequate protection for all. This shared participation also contributes to overall rate reductions. At $20 for a 2-year emission test in Ada County, we rank far below national average emission testing fees.

Lawmakers introducing this new legislation fail to consider: a) the necessity for communitywide participation (for the same reasons we all share gasoline tax, vehicle registration and liability insurance fees); b) vehicle owners routinely neglect “check engine lights” unless forced by emission testing requirements to fix pending mechanical issues. This common procrastination would otherwise lead to additional (often major) out-of-pocket repair costs and pollution.

Michael Howard, Boise