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H.211

Introduced by   Representatives Masland of Thetford, Darrow of Dummerston, Deen of Westminster, Edwards of Brattleboro, Kiss of Burlington, Klein of East Montpelier and McCullough of Williston

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Conservation; motor vehicles; diesel emissions

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require the commissioner of motor vehicles, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources, to adopt rules to establish a standard of exhaust-smoke emission for all diesel-powered commercial motor vehicles operated on the highways of the state.  The bill also proposes to require the commissioner to adopt rules which select a method for testing diesel exhaust.  The bill authorizes a law enforcement officer who observes an apparent violation of the exhaust-smoke standard to stop a vehicle and perform an inspection.  The bill prohibits operation of vehicles that do not comply with emission requirements, and it establishes penalties for noncompliance.  In addition, the bill eliminates the requirement that an applicant for an air contaminant emission permit cannot apply for a variance until the secretary of natural resources issues a declaratory judgment that the applicant is not eligible for the permit or until the permit is granted or denied.

AN ACT RELATING TO REGULATING EMISSIONS FROM DIESEL‑POWERED COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES

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.

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

§ 1222a.  EMISSIONS OF DIESEL-POWERED COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

(a)  If a law enforcement officer observes an apparent violation of the exhaust‑smoke emission standard, the vehicle may be stopped and an inspection performed.  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.

(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 operates or permits the operation of any such vehicle or any person who owns 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 $200.00 for a first violation per vehicle if the defect is not repaired within 30 days from the date of the emission inspection; $400.00 for a second violation by the same vehicle; and $800.00 for a third or subsequent violation committed by the same vehicle within a two-year period.  All fines generated from the violation of this section shall be deposited in the transportation fund.

Sec. 3.  10 V.S.A. § 561(a) is amended to read:

(a)  A person who owns or is in control of any plant, building, structure, process, or equipment may apply to the secretary for a variance from the rules adopted under this chapter.  If a request for a variance is related to an application for a permit under this chapter, the applicant may file that request only after the secretary has issued a declaratory ruling that makes it clear that the applicant would not be eligible for the permit or after the secretary has granted or denied the permit, according to the provisions of subsection 562(e) of this title.  The secretary may grant a variance if the secretary finds that:

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Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us