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RALEIGH, NC (AP/WWAY) – Less than two dozen North Carolina counties will be required to conduct vehicle emissions testing.

North Carolina environmental officials say the state’s air has become clean enough that only 22 of its 100 counties still have to do the inspections.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation this month, removing 26 counties from the testing list.

Those include Brunswick, Burke, Caldwell, Carteret, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Craven, Edgecombe, Granville, Harnett, Haywood, Henderson, Lenoir, Moore, Nash, Orange, Pitt, Robeson, Rutherford, Stanly, Stokes, Surry, Wayne, Wilkes and Wilson counties.

Before the law, 48 counties required emissions testing.

Despite the move, some environmental advocates say cutting the number of cars that get tested will result in air pollution going back up.

Largely urban centers, including New Hanover, Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford and Forsyth, as well as some of their surrounding suburban counties, will still require emissions inspections, which cost $30 annually per vehicle.

All drivers still have to pay for the statewide annual safety inspection of $13.60 per vehicle.

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  • Deborah Miller

    My truck failed for an o2 sensor today. The man said Raleigh has never told him to stop. So $35.00. Why?

    • Christopher Meyers

      Why you ask? Money…just as simple as that. The inspection “racket” has been a state cash cow for many years. They’re going to milk that cow for the very last drop!

  • Kathy Cook

    If I live in Brunswick county and get my car inspected in New Hanover county, will it need emission testing?

  • Barbie Kanta

    Yes, when? Immediately?

  • Guest2020

    The emissions test was a joke to begin with. The older cars that were the problem were grandfathered in and didn’t have to be tested.

  • guest45

    NC should do away with vehicle inspections period, it is nothing but a big “MONEY GRAB”, a lot of states have done away with their vehicle inspections and it made no difference in the safety to the public, even Carolyn Justus was talking about doing away with the inspections when she was a rep, it is time for NC to do away with them now.

    On average it takes 2 hours or more per vehicle for a person to get a vehicle to the inspection station if they have the time to do it and get home, it is just not necessary to have them, the state can charge the extra revenue they will lose back to the tag.

  • Crystal Flynn

    When does become effective?

    • Heimie Schmelter

      Somewhere around 2042…

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