MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Memphis City Council voted last year to stop funding a vehicle emissions program, but with less than two months left before inspections stop, neither the county nor the state seems willing to take over.
According to the Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/117UbEG ), when emissions inspections began some 30 years ago, the city was considered the problem and testing was only required there. But recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said all of Shelby County violates federal ozone pollution standards.
Still, testing has only been required in Memphis, where there are 419,258 registered vehicles, compared with 293,515 in the suburbs and unincorporated areas.
No fee is charged to motorists for the inspections. The $2.7 million cost of the program comes from the city's general fund. That funding will end after June 30.
City leaders say it would be fairer and better for the environment for the county or state to take over the program and require all Shelby County motorists to participate.
But County Commission can set ordinances only for unincorporated areas. The county's other municipalities are unlikely to agree to require inspections. County officials also say they're not in a position to pick up the cost of the inspection program.
Meanwhile, the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has been waiting for local governments to settle the matter.
"It leaves us perplexed and frustrated, frankly," TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau told the paper.
Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.