Changes to vehicle inspections in Brunswick County still need EPA approval

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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — It will take some more time before drivers in Brunswick County might save time and money on their vehicle inspections. First the federal government has to weigh in.

Back in May a story from The Associated Press reported that the governor signed into law a bill removing 26 counties, including Brunswick, from the list of counties where emissions testing is required. That would cut the number of counties where the testing is needed from 48 to 22.

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After WWAY shared the story, we received many questions about when the change would go into effect. Turns out it could be a while.

Today the NC Department of Environment Quality said the state will “likely will exempt an additional 26 counties from annual motor vehicle emissions testing, beginning some time in 2018.” DEQ said North Carolina submitted a “pre-draft” of amendments to the State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review in August. Last Thursday, the Division of Air Quality initiated a 30-day public comment period as required for amendments to federally approved SIPs. The state will submit the comments is received to the EPA, which has up to 18 months to review and approve the plan.

The 26 additional counties that would become exempt from annual emissions testing 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.



All counties will still require the safety inspection.

Some cars are already exempt from emissions testing. Click here to see if your vehicle is among them.