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NO. 195.  AN ACT RELATING TO REGULATING EMISSIONS FROM DIESEL‑POWERED COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES.

(H.211)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 1229 is amended to read:

§ 1229.  RULES

(a)  The commissioner may adopt rules necessary to implement the provisions of sections 1222, 1224, 1227, and 1228 of this title, relating to inspections and certification of inspection mechanics.

(b)  In consultation with the secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s designee, the commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to the provisions in 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, to establish a standard of exhaust-smoke emission for all diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles operated on the highways of this state.  In establishing this standard, the commissioner shall review standards in effect in other states and shall endeavor to maintain consistency with those standards.  The rules adopted shall recognize different types and ages of vehicles and comprise standards which shall, at least in part, be based on the age of the vehicle.  The standards shall be reviewed by the commissioner periodically and may be revised in consultation with the secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s designee, as the commissioner deems appropriate.  Additionally, the commissioner, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources or the secretary’s designee, shall adopt rules which select a method or methods for testing the exhaust emissions of diesel‑powered commercial motor vehicles and which implement section 1222a of this title.  The method selected shall be one that is designed to be performed without unreasonable delay for the vehicle being tested.  The rules shall include a process by which the owner of a commercial motor vehicle may arrange with the department of motor vehicles for the voluntary exhaust-smoke emission testing of a vehicle.  For the purposes of this section, “commercial motor vehicle” is defined under subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1222a is added to read:

§ 1222a.  EMISSIONS OF DIESEL-POWERED COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

(a)  Except for voluntary exhaust-smoke emission testing, a vehicle may be stopped and an inspection performed under this section only if a law enforcement officer observes an apparent violation of the exhaust-smoke emission standard.  If the equipment for smoke testing is not available, a law enforcement officer may require the operator or the owner to submit the vehicle for an emission test at a reasonably convenient time and place.  Failure to submit to the test shall be conclusive evidence of the vehicle’s noncompliance with the exhaust-smoke emission standard.  Any test administered under this section and any notice of violation issued shall be done by a sworn law enforcement officer trained and certified by the department of motor vehicles.  For purposes of this section:

(1)  “Commercial motor vehicle” is defined under subdivision 4103(4) of this title.

(2)  “Law enforcement officer” means an officer of the department of motor vehicles trained and certified by the department of motor vehicles to conduct exhaust‑smoke emission inspections.

(b)  No diesel‑powered commercial motor vehicle shall be operated on the highways of this state unless the vehicle complies with the exhaust-smoke emission standard and the rules adopted by the commissioner of motor vehicles.  Any person who owns or operates such a vehicle while it is operated in violation of the provisions of this section or the rules adopted by the commissioner shall be fined:

(1)  $200.00 for a first violation per vehicle, except that a person shall not be fined if, within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, the defect is repaired and notification of the repair is provided to the department of motor vehicles or the vehicle is taken out of service;

(2)  $200.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection, except that a person shall not be fined if the second violation occurs within 60 days from the date of repair of the first violation.  For purposes of this subdivision, the “date of repair” shall be the date indicated in the notification of repair submitted to the department of motor vehicles under subdivision (b)(1) of this subsection;

(3)  $400.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection;

(4)  $ 400.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection; and

(5)  $800.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period if the first violation was not repaired within 45 days from the date of the emission inspection.

(c)  The commissioner shall establish by rule a process by which the owner of a vehicle that has been taken out of service under this section and that is currently in violation of the exhaust-smoke emission standard shall, prior to sale or transfer of the vehicle, notify the purchaser or transferee that the vehicle does not comply with the exhaust-smoke emission standard. 

(d)  All fines generated from the violation of this section shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

Sec. 2a.  DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES IMPLEMENTATION

               PLAN FOR EMISSION SMOKE INSPECTION TESTING

(a)  The department of motor vehicles shall develop a plan for implementing and inclusion in the budget of the emission smoke testing program for diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles.  The plan shall include:

(1)  a framework for training officers of the department of motor vehicles in conducting emission smoke testing;

(2)  a proposal for acquisition of additional emission smoke testing equipment to be used by the department of motor vehicles in conducting emission smoke testing;

(3)  a projection of how the state would operate the emission smoke testing program for diesel‑powered commercial motor vehicles if the program includes or expands to include state and municipal law enforcement, including a projected cost for training and testing equipment necessary for state and municipal enforcement; and

(4)  estimated appropriations needed to implement the emission smoke testing program for diesel‑powered commercial motor vehicles over the next five years.

(b)  On or before January 15, 2007, the department of motor vehicles shall report back to the house and senate committees on natural resources and energy and on transportation.

Sec. 3.  EFFECTIVE DATE

(a)  This section and Sec. 1 (exhaust-smoke emission rules) of this act shall take effect upon passage.

(b)  Sec. 2 (enforcement of exhaust-smoke emission standards) of this act shall take effect July 1, 2007.

Approved:  May 26, 2006



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us