Cuts to emissions testing raise environmental concerns

Lane inspector Alex Davidson applies the apparatus for measuring auto emissions into the tail pipe of the next vehicle at the Air Care Colorado Emissions Testing Center in Broomfield. Joe Amon, The Denver Post

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Less than two dozen North Carolina counties will be required to conduct vehicle emissions testing.

North Carolina environmental officials say the state’s air has become clean enough that only 22 of its 100 counties still have to do the inspections.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation this month, removing 26 counties from the testing list. Before the law, 48 counties required emissions testing.

Despite the move, some environmental advocates say cutting the number of cars that get tested will result in air pollution going back up.

Largely urban centers, including Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Forsyth, as well as some of their surrounding suburban counties, will still require emissions inspections, which cost $30 annually per vehicle.

All drivers still have to pay for the statewide annual safety inspection of $13.60 per vehicle.