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Inspection Before License

The Tennessee Air Pollution Control Board succumbed to political pressure by refusing to require vehicle emissions inspections in polluted areas of the state as reported by The Commercial Appeal on July 17, 2004. The proposal to require vehicle inspections before issuing license plates was brought to the board by its employees. The board was looking to mandate emissions testing in six of the state?s most polluted counties including Knox and Shelby. Currently, only five counties and the city of Memphis requires vehicle inspections. After two days of hearings, the board rejected the proposal by a 10-2 vote after East Tennessee Mayors, including Knox County Mayor, Mike Ragsdale, argued in front of the board. Board Chairman, Richard Bolton, explained that all Tennessee counties are still required to meet federal ozone limits, however, the board wanted to be flexible in how the counties reached their goal. Bolton went on to say that if the counties could not devise a solid plan to meet the federal limits, then the board could still implement a vehicle inspection program. Two board members, Mary English and Greer Tidwell Jr. are very concerned about the board?s decision. Both members represent state environmental groups and believe the

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