EPA Delays Start of Two-Year Vehicle Inspections
The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced that the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has informed the state that it cannot proceed with its planned biennial inspection system until the contract for the new emissions testing has been awarded.
DMV had planned to begin issuing 2-year stickers in July so that long lines and waiting times due to the conversion of equipment at the inspection lanes could be avoided by motorists. The EPA decision means that DMV must continue to require annual inspections of vehicles until the award of the contract is final.
The Department of Treasury today received one bid seeking the contract to establish the new emissions testing program. Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group of Pasadena, California, submitted a bid to design, build, operate and maintain (DBOM) the new emissions testing system. The bid submission was for $63.2 million in capital costs, $24.25 to perform each enhanced emissions test and $20.61 to perform each non-enhanced emissions test.
The scheduled final award date for the contract is July 27. A phase-in of the biennial inspection system is expected to begin shortly afterward. Motorists will receive advance notice of the dates when the phase-in period and the full biennial inspection will begin.
The phase-in is designed to stagger due dates for vehicle inspections in preparation for the move to a two-year inspection system. During this phase-in period, all vehicles must be inspected in the month they are due. Even-number model year vehicles will be issued a two-year sticker. Odd-number vehicles will be issued a one-year sticker.
Beginning July 1, 1998, a gas cap pressure test will be added to the existing emissions test performed at DMV and private inspection stations. The gas cap pressure test will measure the effectiveness of the seal to ensure vapors are not leaking into the air from the fuel tank. Leaking vapors are a significant source of air pollution and the gas cap test is one way in which New Jersey is meeting its obligations to improve the state’s air quality as required by the federal Clean Air Act.