clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

IS I/M 240 PROGRAM IN ARIZONA, COLORADO AN OPTION FOR UTAH?

Arizona and Colorado have introduced an enhanced vehicle emissions testing program in their metropolitan areas to meet federal EPA air-quality standards. Counties along the Wasatch Front are looking at the same I/M 240 program as one of several ways they, too, can comply with stricter EPA standards.

But there are some crucial differences that make officials in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties hestitant to jump on the I/M 240 bandwagon.Both the Denver and Phoenix metropolitan areas have designed their systems around a single emissions problem: carbon monoxide . While they also test for other pollutants, including nitrous oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons , their primary concern over their unified, multicounty area is CO.

The four counties along the Wasatch Front each face different compliance problems, according to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.

Ozone, resulting when sunlight reacts with hydrocarbons and nitrous oxides (NOx), is the major problem in Davis and Salt Lake counties.

Carbon monoxide is the primary problem in Ogden and the Provo-Orem area and a major contributor in Salt Lake City.

And, for Utah and Weber counties, suspended particulate matter (PM10), is the major problem.

Both Arizona and Colorado are aiming at a total time at the testing station of between 20 and 25 minutes, including a maximum 15-minute wait in line.

But neither state requires a vehicle to pass a safety inspection test, as does Utah.

Adding Utah's safety inspection test to the emissions program could increase the testing time by another 10 to 15 minutes. The alternative is to continue to have the safety inspection done by private-sector mechanics, but that requires owners to make another stop in the vehicle inspection and registration process.

The emissions test is required every two years in Colorado and Arizona, while Utah requires an annual safety inspection. The options here are to stay with a two-year emissions test but an annual safety inspection or require both emissions and safety certification annually.