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Deadline for This Year Nearing for AirCheckTexas Assistance

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Program has helped remove nearly 14,000 high-polluting vehicles

 

June 29, 2009 (Arlington, Texas) – With funds almost exhausted for this year, time is running out for residents who want to take advantage of a state program offering financial help to replace their high-polluting vehicles. The deadline to submit applications to AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine for a vehicle-replacement voucher is Thursday.

 

Applications for next fiscal year will be accepted beginning Aug. 3.

 

The program, which offers qualifying residents $3,000 vouchers ($3,500 for hybrids) toward the purchase of cleaner-burning vehicles, has contributed to the region’s improving air quality by helping to retire 13,786 vehicles since December 2007.

 

Income guidelines vary depending on the size of each applicant’s household. A single applicant can qualify with a net income as high as $32,490. For each additional family member, income may increase by $11,220, making the maximum net pay for a family of four $66,150.

 

AirCheckTexas also offers $600 repair vouchers for qualifying residents whose vehicles fail the emissions portion of the state inspection. These vouchers will be available throughout the summer. Since December 2007, AirCheckTexas has helped 3,671 people whose vehicles failed the state inspection pay for repairs.

 

Applicants for replacement vouchers were put on a waiting list beginning June 8. Applications received through Thursday will be processed, but vouchers will not be issued until additional funds are available, expected by Sept. 1. Those who do not meet the Thursday deadline may apply again beginning Aug. 3. Vouchers awarded in August may not be valid until Sept. 1, depending on available funding.

 

The AirCheckTexas program is one of many strategies the North Central Texas Council of Governments uses to improve the region’s air quality. The nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth area currently does not meet the federal standard for ozone pollution. North Texas has taken steps to improve air quality and is within range of meeting the ozone standard. This makes the 2009 season, which continues through Oct. 31, especially important.

 

Distribution of the AirCheckTexas vouchers was relatively steady until recently, when momentum began building for a new federal program that will provide customers $3,500-$4,500 credits toward the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars. The Car Allowance Rebate System, or CARS, is expected to begin in late July. AirCheckTexas is not administering this $1 billion program, which expires November 1. AirCheckTexas vouchers may be combined with the rebates offered by CARS for those who qualify for both programs.

 

For information about AirCheckTexas, including the income requirements, visit www.nctcog.org/airchecktexas.

 

For information on the federal program, visit www.cars.gov.

 

About the North Central Texas Council of Governments:

NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.  NCTCOG's purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication, and make joint decisions.

NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth.  Currently, NCTCOG has 233 member governments including 16 counties, 165 cities, 23 school districts and 29 special districts.


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