Ohio House resolution passed to remove E-Check requirements but won’t necessarily end it

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — It’s required every two years.

And is a lot easier and quicker than it used to be when the program first started in the mid-1990’s.

Just plug the car in and get the results within five to ten minutes.

For some car owners it’s just a small price in time for something that can do a lot of good.

“It’s for the ozone layer for pollution in the air and what not you can’t just have cars out here smoking you know,”  Jamal Hill said as he left a Cleveland E-Check.

But members of the Ohio House believe that it’s time for e-check to go away.

In a resolution, the republican majority in the house voted to ask the Federal EPA to remove the emission requirements in seven Northeast Ohio counties surrounding Cleveland.

They say a bad test can place an unfair burden on low- and middle-income families.

“Sadly, older cars are owned by people with lower income and sadly they’re the ones who can least afford to update them or someone who’s elderly who’s had a car for a long time.” 

Portage County Representative Dr. Gail Pavliga says e-check isn’t needed because says the amount of ozone, carbon monoxide, lead and other harmful elements created by vehicle exhaust has gone down tremendously since e-check started in 1996.

She says car emissions are a lot cleaner.

“Car emissions are down 71 percent innovation and technology in cars has changed and we don’t see we don’t see the tailpipe emissions like we used to,”  Pavliga said.

And some motorists agree, why should a newer car with computer emissions have to get tested?

“I know it’s going to be good so it’s a waste of time coming in here and getting it to me if everything is good and it’s gonna pass you shouldn’t have to come in and get it,” Kendrick Burton of Cleveland said.   

In a statement, the Ohio EPA says e-check is still mandated by law.

It reads, “The E-Check program is required by the federal Clean Air Act in seven Northeast Ohio counties that are not meeting federally mandated ozone air quality standards.”

And although there have been significant drops in harmful emissions. The federal government says e-checks are what made that possible in the first place and levels of toxins could still be lower.

Representative Pavliga says they want this resolution to send a strong message.

“$10.6 million out of our state budget is going to fund these programs that are bringing not noticeable improvement to our air quality, and this is the reason why this legislation is important and timely and sending a very strong message to congress,” Pavliga said.

The resolution does not have any power to get rid of the e-check but Rep. Pavliga says they hope that it will get congress to seriously consider a new look at the federal Clean Air Act.

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