Emissions sensing vans hit the road to improve air quality
The Ellis County Press
ELLIS COUNTY - Drivers will see a few more emissions-sensing vans along North Texas highways throughout ozone season according to the North Central Texas Council of Governments.
For the first time, emissions-sensing vans will also measure emissions from light-duty diesel cars and trucks. Diesel vehicles are not currently subject to annual emissions tests. The data will help planners better quantify the impact of light-duty diesel vehicles on air quality.
Emissions-sensing vans are usually parked along freeway entrance ramps and as drivers accelerate past the van, a device records the amount of ozone-forming pollutants emitted from each vehicle.
Owners of vehicles shown to be high-emitting or smoking receive a letter emphasizing the importance of vehicle maintenance.
The letter encourages the owners to get their vehicles checked for emissions compliance and includes information about AirCheckTexas – a program offering eligible vehicle owners financial assistance for repairing or replacing a high-emitting vehicle.
On-road vehicles contribute about half of the total emissions that lead to ozone formation.
Ellis County and surrounding county gasoline-vehicle owners are required to have an emissions test along with an annual safety inspection.
Remote testing helps notify vehicle owners if emissions problems develop between tests – decreasing the amount of time the high-emitting vehicle is on the roads.
The Texas Department of Public Safety also manages a remote sensing program, but the six-month Enhanced Remote Sensing Performance Based Pilot Program implemented by the North Central Texas Council of Governments on Monday, May 3 enhances efforts to identify the highest-emitting vehicles, educate drivers about the State’s Inspection and Maintenance Program and move the region closer to compliance with air quality standards.
The nine counties of Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant have been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as nonattainment for ozone levels.