URGENT ACTION ALERT (UPDATE)
Implementation of Arizona Law to Exempt Pre-’75 Vehicles from Emissions Inspection Delayed
As many of you now know, legislation to exempt all vehicles manufactured in model year 1974 and earlier from the state’s mandatory biennial emissions inspection program was signed into law in 2011. Before this exemption can go into effect, certain conditions must be met, and Arizona enthusiasts are anxious for news on when this will be accomplished.
Under Federal law, Arizona regulators are required to submit a plan to the U.S. EPA detailing how the state will address its air quality issues. After the EPA approves this air quality plan, all changes to the plan must be submitted to and approved by the EPA. Exempting vehicles manufactured in 1974 and earlier from the state’s motor vehicle emissions inspection program requires such a change, which requires EPA approval before the exemption can go into effect. Another bill currently before the Arizona legislature would extend the exemption to vehicles 40 years old and older. If enacted, this rolling exemption would also require EPA approval before it can go into effect.
The SEMA Action Network (SAN) recently contacted Arizona regulatory officials regarding implementation of the pre-75 exemption. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has indicated that changes to the state’s air quality plan to accommodate the exemption will be submitted to the EPA in the near future, possibly by early 2015, and the submission may also include the 40 year rolling exemption if it is enacted by the legislature this session. Submissions to the EPA require regulators to compile and analyze data showing that changes to the plan will not significantly affect air quality. According to DEQ staff, compiling and analyzing this data for submission to the EPA has proven been a time consuming process. After all the requisite information is submitted to the EPA, the EPA will still have another 18 months to approve or reject the changes.
In the meantime, the current exemptions for pre-1967 vehicles and “collectibles” remain in effect, and will continue to be available even after the implementation of the new exemption. To qualify for the “collectible” exemption, a vehicle must be maintained primarily for use in club activities, exhibitions, parades or other functions of public interest and have a collectible vehicle or classic automobile insurance policy restricting use. The collectible exemption also requires the owner own a secondary vehicle for general transportation.