Governor Gary Herbert will meet with Cache County officials Wednesday in Logan to talk about air quality. County officials requested the meeting with the Governor to express their concerns about state plans to expand vehicle emissions testing.
Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon says the majority of the people in his region do not want emissions testing on vehicles. That’s why the County Council voted against it. Lemon says the state should not impose this policy against the will of the county.
“I hope that the Governor will agree – and I believe that he will - that the County needs to agree to an emissions testing program if we’re going to do that,” Lemon told KUER, “We also hope that the Division of Air Quality will give serious consideration to alternatives.”
Amanda Smith, the Executive Director of the Department of Environmental Quality, will be at the meeting with Cache County officials. Smith says the state has determined that emissions testing is the cheapest way to achieve reduction in pollution.
“We have been working on this a while, and I would say our best technical minds came to the decision that an emissions test was the best route forward. That being said, we are open to other possibilities if Cache County has something they believe will meet those needs as well,” Smith said.
Cache County is planning a public meeting on October 9th to collect ideas for alternatives to emissions testing. The Utah Air Quality Board is taking public comment on the State Implementation Plan through the end of the month. The Board must submit their plans by December 15th to the US Environmental Protection Agency for approval. The EPA determined that Cache County was not meeting federal air quality standards in December of 2009.