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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina agencies will enforce a new law that exempts more passenger vehicles from emissions tests by using a narrow interpretation of the statute.

The law signed by Gov. Beverly Perdue last week initially confused some state officials and garage owners who said it could excuse more than triple the number of vehicles than first believed.

But the Division of Air Quality and Division of Motor Vehicles said this week they will carry out the law by exempting vehicles three years old and newer as long as their odometers haven’t reached 70,000 miles in the 48 counties where the tests are mandatory. Others had said the law’s language could have applied to any low-mileage car built after 1996.

The new exemptions are expected to begin in 2014.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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