WSR 06-21-111


[ Filed October 17, 2006, 2:27 p.m. ]

Public Hearing

Air Quality Program

Including Revised Emission Check Rules in the

State Implementation Plan

Background Information: The department of ecology (ecology) is holding a public hearing on including changes to the emission check rule in Washington's state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP is a statewide plan for meeting air quality standards. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) previously approved Washington state's emission check rule and revisions to it as part of the SIP. Since then, ecology has revised the rule to make it consistent with the way the emission check program is operated in Washington state. Ecology is now requesting EPA approval of the rule revisions so that the revised rule can be included in the SIP. Ecology is also requesting that EPA remove fee provisions from the SIP-approved rule, because they are not appropriate for inclusion in the SIP.

What is the Emission Check Program? The emission check program tests vehicle emissions to identify the most polluting vehicles. It requires these vehicles to be repaired so that their emissions are reduced. The emission check program is a key to helping Washington state meet federal air quality standards. It is included in the SIP as a control for ozone and carbon monoxide air pollution in the Puget Sound and Vancouver areas, and for carbon monoxide in Spokane.

What Did Ecology Change in the Rule? The Washington state emission check program rule is in chapter 173-422 WAC, Motor vehicle inspection. Ecology revised nine sections of this rule in June 2002. The most important changes allow late model vehicles to be tested with their on-board diagnostics systems instead of with a tailpipe test, and make related changes to the sections of the rule on vehicle repair. Ecology also deleted outdated language in the rule, and added clarifications to make the rule easier to understand and more consistent.

What Will This SIP Revision Do? Ecology is requesting two actions to revise the SIP:

1. Ecology requests that EPA approve the nine sections of the rule that ecology has revised since EPA last approved the rule. These sections are: WAC 173-422-020 Definitions, 173-422-030 Vehicle emission inspection requirement, 173-422-031 Vehicle emission inspection schedules, 173-422-060 Gasoline vehicle emission standards, 173-422-065 Diesel vehicle exhaust emission standards, 173-422-070 Gasoline vehicle exhaust emission testing procedures, 173-422-075 Diesel vehicle inspection procedure, 173-422-190 Emission specialist authorization, and 173-422-195 Listing of authorized emission specialists.

2. Ecology requests that EPA remove previously approved fee provisions from the SIP, because these provisions are not appropriate for inclusion in the SIP. The parts of chapter 173-422 WAC that are to be removed from the SIP are:

WAC 173-422-130 Inspection fees.
The words "twelve or less dollars" in WAC 173-422-160 Fleet and diesel owner vehicle testing requirements.
Documents are Available for Public Review: You can review the rule updates ecology is proposing to include in the SIP at the following locations: Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98504-7600; Department of Ecology, Northwest Regional Office, 3190 160th Avenue S.E., Bellevue, WA 98008-5452; Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, 110 Union Street, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98101-2038; Southwest Clean Air Agency, 11815 N.E. 99th Street, Suite 1294, Vancouver, WA 98662-2454; and Spokane County Air Pollution Control Agency, 1101 West College Avenue, Suite 403, Spokane, WA 99201.

Hearing Information: Department of Ecology Headquarters, Room 1S-16, 300 Desmond Drive, Lacey, WA 98504-7600, on Thursday, November 16, 2006, at 2:00 p.m.

How to Comment on the Proposed SIP Changes: You can comment on the proposed SIP changes at the public hearing as described above. You can also submit written comments to Doug Schneider, Department of Ecology, Air Quality Program, P.O. Box 47600, Lacey, WA 98504-7600, phone (360) 407-6874, fax (360) 407-7534, e-mail Ecology must receive all comments by November 22, 2006.

For More Information: Contact Doug Schneider of ecology as shown above.

If you need special accommodations or need this publication in another format, please call Tami Dahlgren at (360) 407-6800. Persons with hearing loss can call 711 for Washington Relay Service. Persons with a speech disability can call (877) 833-6341.

Washington State Code Reviser's Office