Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Anchorage Assembly Does The Right Thing, Votes To End The IM Emissions Testing Program, But Change May Not Take Effect Until October 2011

Update January 11th 2012: EPA validates Assembly decision to end IM testing program effective February 9th.

The Anchorage Municipal Assembly took a serious step towards reducing the burden of government upon citizens on May 11th, 2010 when they voted UNANIMOUSLY to end the IM (Inspection & Maintenance) emissions testing program for motor vehicles. Thus Assemblyman Dick Traini fulfilled a campaign promise to make the termination of this program one of his highest initial priorities. The departure of two of the strongest proponents of the IM program, Matt Claman and Sheila Selkregg, from the Assembly facilitated the change.

However, the change won't take effect immediately. City Air Quality Program Manager Steve Morris said that the decision must be reviewed by both the state government and the Federal government. The state normally takes about six months for public notices and its own review, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency has up to 18 months to do the same, although Morris obviously thinks 12 months is the EPA norm. In addition, the Assembly also agreed to wait six months after the approvals before actually ending the program in order to give emission testing companies time to prepare, which would mean around October 2011 for a termination date. Most emission testing companies already offer additional vehicle services, so the burden of change should be light.

Powerful evidence supports terminating the program. Anchorage has not had an air quality violation since 1996, and newer vehicles are built to more stringent standards. The city health commission agreed, which persuaded a previous opponent of change, Assemblywoman Elvi Gray-Jackson, to vote with the majority this time. Mayor Dan Sullivan had previously expressed his support for ending the program, which required that drivers get their cars and trucks tested every two years, and cost a maximum of $68, depending upon fees charged by the testing company. Cars up to 6 years old and antique cars were exempted.

When this change takes effect, Alaska will be one of the few states with no mandated regular vehicle safety inspection program. That's because we Alaskans trust people to be smart enough to take care of themselves, and don't believe in penalizing the entire population for the misdeeds of a few. We reject the Marxist notions of preemptive or collective punishment. Socialism sucks.

Congratulations to the Assembly for reducing the burden of government on its citizens. Public comments to the ADN story indicate almost universal approval as well.


  1. socialism=marxism=zionism=communism=democracy sucks.................

  2. Anonymous - the distinction between all of them does seem ambiguous at times, doesn't it?