Air quality improvements, decrease in ground-level ozone make goal a reality
JEFFERSON CITY, MO, JUNE 8, 2022 - Beginning July 1, owners of vehicles registered in Franklin County no longer need an emissions test to register their vehicles. The Missouri Air Conservation Commission adopted an amendment to the state regulation in January 2022. Since then, the Department of Natural Resources has been working with the Department of Revenue and the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Driver and Vehicle Safety Division in preparation for removal of emission inspection requirements in Franklin County. The rule change includes a new exemption for vehicles registered in Franklin County.
The Department of Natural Resources is reaching out to emissions testing stations in Franklin County and coordinating with partner agencies to ensure everyone affected is aware of the new exemption. The requirement to pass an emissions test will apply in Franklin County until the exemption takes effect July 1.
The exemption does not impact any of the other counties subject to the requirement. Emissions testing requirements remain in place for vehicles registered in Jefferson County, St. Charles County, St. Louis County and St. Louis City. Further details regarding the Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program and this new exemption for Franklin County are available at dnrservices.mo.gov/gatewayvip/.
The action comes after years of effort by the department, regulated facilities and citizens working together to reduce air emissions. Over the past 20 years, ground-level ozone concentrations in the St. Louis region have steadily declined, making it possible to pursue the removal of these mandated requirements.
In 2019, the department submitted a formal request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to end the testing requirements in Franklin County. Documentation provided with the request demonstrates that removing the requirements will not jeopardize air quality, particularly with respect to the federal outdoor air quality standard for ground-level ozone. Further, it shows that air pollution from motor vehicles will continue to decline in Franklin County, even in the absence of the emission testing requirements. This is the result of federal motor vehicle regulations and normal fleet turnover in the region. With the recent adoption of the regulatory requirements, EPA is proceeding with its formal approval.
“Today’s announcement provides relief to citizens and working families in Franklin County that will save them time and put money back in their pockets,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Missouri will continue our balanced approach to protect our environment and natural resources without overburdening our businesses and citizens.”
“We are happy to announce the removal of this regulatory burden for vehicle owners in Franklin County,” said Dru Buntin, director of the Department of Natural Resources. “We will continue to evaluate and pursue opportunities to remove burdens on our citizens where it will not jeopardize the environmental improvements we have achieved.”
For more information, contact the department’s Air Pollution Control Program at firstname.lastname@example.org.