Bartlett hears emission test plea

January 30, 1997


Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - State lawmakers told U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett Thursday that their constituents are fed up with the state's vehicle emissions program.

"The citizens of Washington County have just gone ballistic about that," Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, said during a meeting between, Bartlett, R-Md., and Western Maryland legislators.

Though they talked about a variety of issues - from highway funding to bed rails - the discussion kept coming back to vehicle emissions.


"This is very, very important to a lot of us in Western Maryland," said Del. Donald B. Elliott, R-Carroll/Frederick.

The stakes in the vehicle emissions debate rose earlier this week when Gov. Parris N. Glendening announced support for expanding the program to include mandatory use of the dynamometer - a treadmill-like device that tests cars for various types of pollutants at highway speeds.

Lawmakers complained that Western Maryland has clean air and no need for testing vehicle emissions.

"This program is an onerous program we really do not have to have," Elliott said.

Glendening has said that unless the program moves ahead, Maryland will face tougher regulations from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which could hurt job growth in the state.

"As long as the federal government has these things hanging over our heads, there is no way we'll make (vehicle emissions) go away," Munson said.

Del. J. Anita Stup, R-Frederick/Washington, asked Bartlett to intervene on the state's behalf with the EPA.

"There's got to be some common-sense approach," she said.

Bartlett said he understands the frustration over mandated regulation and would "try" to see if something can be done with the EPA.

"Washington County does not have an air pollution problem from auto exhaust," Bartlett said.

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