Thursday, June 24, 1999

Local lawmaker faults EPA

Auto emissions studies questioned

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — A Northern Kentucky legislator said Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a history of disregarding the findings of its own studies of auto emissions.

        State Rep. Joe Fischer, R-Fort Thomas, spoke during Wednesday's Campbell County Fiscal Court meeting. He said he's looking forward to an EPA meeting Monday in Ann Arbor, Mich., on the topic of emissions testing.

        “It's going to be interesting to hear what EPA has to say about its own study,” Mr. Fischer said. “EPA has a history of suppressing its own studies.”

        Emissions testing is to begin Sept. 1 in Northern Kentucky. Counties that haven't complied with Clean Air Act requirements traditionally have had federal funds withheld.

        Mr. Fischer has several problems with EPA findings:

        • Newer vehicles don't need to be tested. Mr. Fischer cited studies on tailpipe testing from Louisville, Colorado, Ohio and California, in which cars 1993 and newer cause minimal pollution to the environment.

        • The cost of complying with federal mandates could rise to $400 on some newer vehicles. Mr. Fischer said it's wasted money because cars are at or above current pollution levels within two years.

        • Newer vehicles were not included in EPA computer models concerning tailpipe testing.

        Campbell County Commissioner Dave Otto said the EPA “could never prove” Northern Kentucky has a problem with auto emissions.

        Boone County Fiscal Court adopted a resolution last week asking for a moratorium on emissions testing until a National Academy of Science study is completed. Kenton County Fiscal Court did the same thing Tuesday.

        Campbell County took no action during Wednesday's meeting. Judge-executive Steve Pendery said the issue may be considered at its July 7 meeting.


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