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Auto emissions violators to get financial assistance

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The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY - Residents who do not pass a new batch of emissions-control regulations and cannot otherwise afford to bring their vehicles into compliance, will be able to receive money in the state's AirCheck Texas Repair and Replacement Assistance Program.

Emmissions testing goes into effect in Ellis County on May 1 under a state mandate agreed to by the county commissioners more than two years ago.

Already, state inspection stations and auto repair shops throughout the county have been updating to the new emission-checking equipment, and money will be available to help people bring their vehicles into compliance.

The program will be administered by the North Central Texas Council of Governments, through inter-county agreements, and will be funded by a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

'I think it is important to note, there's a requirement that they get to audit the money spent, and also that there's a cap of $13 million,' said County Attorney Lee Veness.

According to statistics from state and federal agencies, vehicles pump out tons of toxic soup-like chemicals each year; this counters a claim from local environmental groups who believe Ellis County cement plants produce the most pollution in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.

Motorists can expect to pay almost double the state inspection fees they are used to.

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