LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News vol 5 no 4,  1997. ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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New Vehicle Emission Test Clears the Air

The following is a media release put out by The Hon. Ms Pam Allan, MP.

The NSW Government today launched a major new initiative to tackle air pollution with a cost-effective program to slash vehicle emissions through testing and maintenance in the Sydney, Illawarra and Hunter regions. Environment Minister, Pam Allan and Minister for Transport and Minister for Roads. Carl Scully, said the program will be gradually introduced. All passenger and light commercial vehicles, four or more years old, in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong will be tested each year, by 2004.

Minister for Transport and Minister for Roads, Carl Scully said the joint program by the roads and traffic Authority (RTA) and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) was based on extensive research since the early 1990s. On local and overseas approaches.

Environment Minister, Pam Allan said EPA survey work shows that 10-20% of cars produce much of the pollution so more than 80% of cars are likely to pass the $30 test.

"The first stage will begin mid-next year in Sydney, with testing applying to likely high-polluting, vehicles, such as modified vehicles or those that have been officially observed emitting smoke" said Mr Scully. "At this stage, owners of other vehicles can have their cars tested if they wish at 1 or 2 RTA stations, in eastern and western Sydney.

"The second stage will begin in 2000 with the annual testing at the time of registration, of all passenger and light commercial vehicles four or more years old in Sydney. Repairs would not be required for the first year.

"At this sate, private testing-only stations will exist to make testing readily available and to remove any conflict of interest between the testing and repair functions.

"Stage three will commence in 2004 with the inclusion of the Lowe Hunter and Illawarra. If vehicles are shown to be emitting more pollution than would be expected from that model then repairs will have to be made.

"Testing will be cost effective and any repairs can still be done by the existing inspection stations. Removing conflicts of interests is likely to benefit the repair industry," said Mr Scully.

Ms Allan said work will continue at the national level to find an effective emissions test for heavy vehicles, although at present there is no suitable test anywhere in the world. Light diesels covered in the program will have to pass an annual smoke test. "Air pollution is one of the main issues facing the community and vehicles are the main source of many pollutants including hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide and fine particles,": said Ms Allan.

"Studies by NSW Health and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) show that Sydney’s air pollution can cause significant health impacts with hospital admissions going up on high pollution days. "The EPA expects that this program will reduce hydrocarbons by 15% carbon monoxide by 25% and oxides of nitrogen by 9%.

"Over the past four years, there has been extensive general consultation with industry on this program.

"Given our recent record air pollution, this is a small price to pay for significantly better air, especially when you realise that without the repairs, the vehicles' long-term survival is questionable anyway.

"Between now and the beginning of testing mid next year, we will work with the welfare sector to develop provisions for those who cannot afford repairs. "The annual testing will also reduce tampering which is still a source of extra pollution, as well as improve fuel economy and so reduce greenhouse emissions.

"The test to be used will simulate on-road conditions, Motorbikes will not be involved at this stage as they cannot safely be run on a treadmill, while vintage cars and those travelling less than 2,000 km per year may also be exempted." Ms Allan said this testing and maintenance program will form an important plank in the Government’s Air Quality Management Plan. "When the plan is introduced to the community in the first half of 1998, it will provide a comprehensive attack on smog as well as brown haze," said Allan.

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