Legislature(1993 - 1994)
03/31/1994 03:38 PM Senate TRA
* first hearing in first committee of referral
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
CHAIRMAN SHARP brings up SR 4 (MOTOR VEHICLE EMISSION INSPECTION) as the next order of business before the Senate Transportation Committee. The chairman calls a representative from the prime sponsor's office to testify. Number 463 MICHAEL FINKELSTEIN, Aide, Senator Donley, reads the sponsor statement on SR 4. Number 480 SENATOR KERTTULA comments SR 4 makes sense to him. Number 487 SENATOR KELLY asks if there isn't a requirement in California to put an emissions control package on new cars sold in the state. He wonders if the California figures might not be applicable to Alaska. Number 490 SENATOR KERTTULA thinks it might make sense anyway to not burden the system with inspections every year. Number 494 CHAIRMAN SHARP asks if there are any more questions for Mr. Finkelstein. Hearing none, he calls a representative from the Department of Environmental Conservation to testify. Number 500 LEONARD VERRELLI, Chief, Air Quality Management Section, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) says SR 4 conflicts with plans submitted by Anchorage and Fairbanks to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Anchorage and Fairbanks' programs are based on a stringency factor that requires that the automobiles be checked annually. SR 4 would be construed by EPA as a relaxation to the applications submitted just days ago. MR. VERRELLI states that two year emissions testing programs are not without controversy, and California is not the bellwether of emissions testing programs for Alaska. DEC does not recommend passing this resolution unless it is modified in some way so that it appears to be credible as far as Anchorage and Fairbanks' proposals to meet emissions reduction criteria. Number 525 MR. VERRELLI also says he begs to differ with the sponsor's assertion that vehicle emissions would stay in calibration for two years. The EPA has tested hundreds of thousands of tests, and nine months to a year is probably the maximum that a car will stay in tune. Newer cars are getting better, but the majority of cars in Alaska are still elderly. SR 4 could be strengthened to offer the EPA something in exchange for a two-year emissions test. But that would put a burden on Anchorage and Fairbanks to come up with strategies which may be onerous to meet the reductions. Number 534 SENATOR KERTTULA notes SR 4 is just a simple resolution, so it does not have the strength of a formal conveyance. MR. VERRELLI says he just wants the committee to be aware that SR 4 does conflict with the proposals submitted to the EPA by Anchorage and Fairbanks. Number 541 SENATOR KELLY asks Mr. Verrelli that, if the EPA was to allow two year emissions testing, Anchorage and Fairbanks wouldn't take advantage of that. MR. VERRELLI replies that the EPA couldn't authorize two year registration or inspections at this point in time, unless both Anchorage and Fairbanks did something to replace the reductions that are gained by the one year inspection program. Number 545 SENATOR KELLY asks if SR 4 is asking the federal government to go from one year inspections to two year inspections. Several people answer that is correct. SENATOR KELLY states, if that change is made, then Anchorage and Fairbanks would no longer be required to have inspections every year. MR. VERRELLI responds that, without an annual registration, there would not be enough credit for Anchorage and Fairbanks to meet the required air quality standards. Number 553 SENATOR KERTTULA suggests that, by deleting lines 14 and 15 on page one, SR 4 might not be in conflict with the proposals just submitted to the EPA by Anchorage and Fairbanks. Senator Kerttula proposes an amendment to delete that language. CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, notes that Senator Kerttula's amendment has been adopted. The chairman asks the pleasure of the committee. Number 564 SENATOR KERTTULA makes a motion to discharge SR 4 from the Senate Transportation Committee with individual recommendations. Number 566 CHAIRMAN SHARP, hearing no objection, orders SR 4 released from committee with individual recommendations.