HCS/SS#2/SCS/SB 583 - This act proposes to revise the state emissions inspection program. The act creates a decentralized emissions inspection program whereby motor vehicle safety inspection stations and other entities will conduct emissions inspection if certified by the air conservation commission. The decentralized system will not go into effect until September 1, 2007. Prior to that date, the commission shall develop a decentralized emissions inspection program that allows official emissions inspection stations to conduct on-board diagnostic testing on 1996 and newer vehicles. The act provides that motor vehicle safety inspection stations and other entities may apply to the commission to become official emissions inspection stations. Before issuing a certificate of authorization to a prospective station, the commission must determine if the applicant will be properly equipped, has qualified emission inspectors, and meets other requirements set forth by the commission (Section 643.303).
The act applies the new decentralized emissions program consistently throughout the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County. The act updates the county descriptions (Section 643.305).
The act provides that the Director of Revenue may verify a successful safety and emissions inspection result electronically. This provision is similar to one contained in HB 241 (2005).
If a motor vehicle is inspected and approved prior to sale or transfer, it is not subject to another emissions inspection for 90 days after the date of sale or transfer of the vehicle.
The act specifically exempts motor vehicles manufactured prior to 1996 from the emission inspection process. Motor vehicles manufactured prior to that date will be subject to a gas cap pressure test as part of the motor vehicle safety inspection test. This requirement will be implemented by rules. The act exempts heavy-duty diesel-powered vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 8,500 pounds. The act also exempts new motor vehicles which have not been previously titled and registered, for the four-year period following their model year of manufacture provided the odometer reading for such motor vehicles are less than 40,000 miles at their first required biennial safety inspection; otherwise such motor vehicles shall be subject to the emissions inspection. Motor vehicles driven less than 12,000 miles between biennial safety inspections are exempt from the emissions inspection (Section 643.315).
The act sets forth the procedures that one must follow in order to become an official emissions inspection station. The act also provides that the commission may suspend a stations's certificate of authority to conduct emissions inspections provided the station is given due process as outlined in the act (Section 643.320).
The act provides that the commission shall establish a waiver amount which shall be no greater than $450. The act provides that the waiver amount for repairs conducted by an owner shall be $400 provided the owner expends at least $400 on emissions parts. Labor costs do not count toward the waiver amount for owner repairs. The subsection requires the commission to create a waiver form and requires owners to submit all original receipts for parts. Under the act, the commission may establish, by rule, a waiver amount which may be lower for owners who provide reasonable and reliable proof to the commission that the owner is financially dependant solely on state and federal disability benefits and other public assistance programs. Such proof shall be submitted to the commission thirty calendar days prior to each subsequent emissions inspection before the lowered waiver amount is allowed (Section 643.335).
The act requires certified repair technicians to obtain and possess valid A6, A8, and L1 certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (Section 643.335).
The act requires the Department of Natural Resources and the Highway Patrol to provide oversight for the emissions inspection program, including oversight of the repair services by recognized repair technicians. Both agencies shall submit an annual report to the legislature detailing the oversight measures implemented for the program and the data collected regarding compliance and incidents of fraud (section 643.337). The act also requires the Department of Natural Resources to submit annual reports to the General Assembly describing the overall effectiveness of the new decentralized emissions inspection program (section 643.353).
Beginning September 1,2007, the inspection fee shall not exceed $24 (Section 643.350).
The act abolishes the Missouri Air Pollution Control Fund established under Section 307.366 and transfers its funds to the Missouri Air Emission Reduction Fund (Section 307.367).
The act requires the Department of Natural Resources to promote participation in the decentralized emissions inspection program among qualified motor vehicle dealers, service stations, and other individuals. After the implementation of the decentralized emission inspection program, the department shall monitor participation in such program. In determining whether there are a sufficient number of individuals conducting motor vehicle emission inspections under the decentralized program, the department shall attempt to ensure, through promotional efforts, that no more than twenty percent of all persons residing in an affected nonattainment area reside farther than five miles from the nearest inspection station.
Many of the provisions of the act have an effective date of September 1, 2007.