OPINION: Emissions testing will NOT improve air quality

I, as well as many of my friends are opposed to the emissions testing and I know the garage that I get my vehicles safety inspected, will likely stop doing inspections if they are forced to do emissions testing. Why spend the money on a program that will not improve our air quality. The news media has totally ignored this view and only reports the emotional view. It is ironic that we are being threatened by the loss of highway money, when in reality it is those highways that are cited as a source of the pollution.

I am a lifelong resident of Cache Valley and believe that we have pretty good air. Wouldn’t trade our air for Los Angeles any day. I don’t believe our air is as bad as reported. When we do have the “Worst air in the Nation” it is for a short time and our (Data Not Quality Assured) *single Logan monitor used to make that claim, frequently goes offline for service because it is out of specs. Granted we are a geological bath tub, but our bad air can come from outside the Valley also. PM 2.5 can travel hundreds of miles and become trapped in our inversion. ** (see statement and link below taken from a EPA lab publication) If every human and vehicle left Cache Valley and the air monitor remained we would still have dirty air during an inversion. Many times during the winter you can see the dirty air flowing into the Valley through the Valley View Highway corridor this is illustrated very well by the Aerial photo on the title page of USU’s (Cache Valley Air Quality Studies A Summary of Research Conducted (through 2006)).

Here is a <a href=”http://www.airquality.utah.gov/Public-Interest/Current-Issues/cache-valley-PM/Outreach/Cache%20Valley%20Air%20Quality%20Studies%202006.pdf” target=”_blank”>link to the study</a>.

Which leads me to a very important question generated by the 2006 study that no one has answered . Why if the following paragraph taken from page 38 (inserted below) of the study is true, are we so intent on implementing emission testing? Cache Valley Vehicles Tested Lower Than Utah County.

It is of interest to compare the average emission concentrations of the target pollutants from Cache Valley to a similar study conducted in Utah County during 2003. These results are shown in Figure 30. As can be seen, the average automobile emission concentrations for NOx, VOCs (HC), and CO were all lower for the Cache County data set, even though an automobile I &amp; M program is currently in place Utah County, but not Cache County. It should be noted from figure 30; however, that only the NOx emission concentrations showed a statistically significant difference (at the 95% confidence level).

At this point, no explanation can be given for this apparent discrepancy. However, possible explanations could include differences in vehicle fleet structure, the possible inclusion of larger engine (pickup, SUV) vehicles in the Utah County study, or perhaps different test conditions (season, relative site locations, vehicle operating conditions).

The data confidence is much higher for the cited vehicle test than most of the studies air quality monitoring tests. From the amount of adjustment in the data to account for testing equipment errors is another question in itself.

Again why are we so intent on implementing emission testing? Shouldn’t we at least study why other parts of the country have dropped their testing programs? Minnesota for example. The Data does not support emissions testing.

I believe that the only benefit of the emission testing is to make those concerned feel better because at least they are doing something. This will come at the expense of the majority of the Valley Residents who do not want and can’t afford the testing. Let’s save our money so we can afford to purchase newer cleaner vehicles.

Please please please, let’s use common sense. Even if we spent the money to better coordinate traffic lights on 1400 North, (busiest Logan street other than main street and a trucking corridor) accomplishing that would do more than emissions testing would to lower Valley pollution.

For example, stopping (brake dust) and starting a 40 ton (exempt from emissions testing) diesel truck averaging 3 mpg pollutes far more than a stopping and starting a 1.5 ton car getting 25 mpg.

The problem is not a simple one. Pm 2.5 is generated from multiple sources and can be generated hundreds of miles away from Cache Valley. Even better managing the Sand and Salt (pm 2.5 source) applied to the highways would cut down our pollution.

Please look at the links provided and study the problem. Lets use science and the data, not emotion. (ie “Equivalent to smoking a Pack a day”, a not verified propaganda statement.) Minnesota did and they no longer have emissions testing. Lets lead, not follow. Sincere Prayer and faith to temper the elements will do more than emissions testing.

I welcome and would appreciate your response.

Sincerly

Spencer H. Geddes

* <a href=”http://www.epa.gov/region4/sesd/pm25/p2.html” target=”_blank”>http://www.epa.gov/region4/sesd/pm25/p2.html</a>

How does PM2.5 affect the environment?

These same fine particles that lead to health effects are also a major cause of visibility impairment in most parts of the United States. It is estimated that in certain parts of the U.S. the visual range has been reduced by 70% of natural conditions. Because these particles are so small they can travel great distances affecting areas in other states or even regions. It is believed that one-third of the haze seen over the Grand Canyon comes from Southern California.

<p style=”margin: 0.6em 0px;” align=”left”><span style=”color: #222222; font-family: Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;”><span style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.3em;”>** As I was writing the Logan Monitor was spiking </span><span style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 15.59375px;”>erratically???</span><span style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 1.3em;”> (I check it often)</span></span>

<p style=”margin: 0.6em 0px;” align=”left”><span style=”color: #222222; font-family: Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif;”><span style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 15.59375px;”><a style=”color: #1155cc;” href=”http://www.airquality.utah.gov/aqp/trend_charts/getData.php?id=cache” target=”_blank”>http://www.airquality.utah.gov/aqp/trend_charts/getData.php?id=cache</a></span></span>

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