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WILSON ANNOUNCES SUPPORT FOR COMPREHENSIVE REFORM OF SMOG CHECK; WILL ENSURE CLEAN AIR COMPLIANCE AND CONSUMER CONVENIENCE

 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Pete Wilson today announced his support for a comprehensive bipartisan plan to reform California's Smog Check program that would ensure compliance with federal clean air standards, protect small businesses and provide a high degree of consumer convenience.
 "The hard work by legislators, state officials, industry representatives and environmental groups have paid off in producing a bipartisan plan for real reform of our Smog Check program that promises cleaner air and protects small businesses," Wilson said.
 "Senator Kopp and Assemblyman Katz are to be commended for their critical roles in crafting a bipartisan plan that gives California the flexibility to meet federal clean air standards while preserving the consumer convenience, critical to a successful program," Wilson added.
 The proposal, which will be amended into SB 1195 by Senator Newton Russell (R-Glendale) and heard in the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 5 p.m., maintains the state's system of decentralized test and repair facilities in order to maintain consumer convenience, but targets gross polluters which account for the majority of total emissions.
 The proposal amends state law to make it illegal to operate a gross polluting vehicle in the state. A system utilizing remote sensing devices (RSD) and roadside pullovers will be developed to target the 10 percent of gross polluting vehicles that account for over 50 percent of vehicle emissions. A pilot RSD project will be developed jointly and reviewed by the California Air Resources Board (ARB), Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR), U.S. EPA and an Inspection and Maintenance Review Committee.
 Enforcement will also be strengthened by:
 -- Subjecting motorists who acquire illegal smog certificates to civil penalties;
 -- Requiring gross polluting vehicles to be either fixed or scrapped;
 -- Suspending Smog Check stations automatically for 60 days, pending a hearing, if they intentionally or willfully violate smog check laws and/or engage in a pattern or regular practice of violations;
 -- Revoking the licenses of Smog Check stations selling fraudulent Smog Check certificates for used cars.;
 -- Revoking the license of any Smog Check station found issuing fraudulent certificates by way of clean piping.
 "These enhancements to the Smog Check program will catch the worst- polluting vehicles on the road, reduce fraud and restore confidence in our Smog Check program. We believe this program will meet or exceed federal standards and are confident that the federal government will view these proposals as sufficient," Wilson said.
 Areas of the state which fail to meet federal clean air standards -- including Sacramento, Bakersfield, Fresno, Ventura, Los Angeles/Orange/San Bernardino/Riverside, and San Diego counties -- will also be required to use a more sophisticated loaded-mode dynomometer test.
 An existing referee network of stations to include testing and certification of gross polluting vehicles will be expanded. Technician qualifications and examinations will be upgraded.
 Augmentations to existing Smog Check testing equipment (BAR90) will be revised by Jan. 1, 1996, with a new centralized computer database operational by Jan. 1, 1995, including the ability to identify vehicles sold by car dealers, with bar coded vehicle information imprinted on future Department of Motor Vehicles registration renewals.
 Business fleets will continue self-certification of their vehicles, but are subject to random testing of up to 2 percent of their fleet, with high-mileage vehicles to be inspected at referee stations.
 Repair costs for all vehicles will increase to $450 per vehicle, but the limit will not apply to vehicles receiving a second waiver in a row, vehicles seeking first-time registration in the state, vehicles registered after being "junked," and tampered vehicles and/or gross polluting vehicles. These vehicles will have to be repaired to reduce emissions regardless of the cost or scrapped.
 The proposal was the result of extensive negotiations between California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) officials, Senator Quentin Kopp (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Richard Katz (D-Panorama City), chairs of the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees, representatives from service station owners and automotive technicians, and environmental groups.
 -0- 8/30/93
 /CONTACT: Kevin Eckery, Beth Miller or J.P. Trembly of the Governor's Press Office, 916-445-4571/


CO: California Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV SU:

LH-0000 -- SF014 -- 7285 08/30/93 19:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 30, 1993
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