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Hurricane season

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane season starts tomorrow, June 1. This year forecasters are predicting an above-normal Atlantic hurricane season, threatening both coastal and inland residents between now and the end of November. Taking steps now to prepare can help to keep you and your loved ones safe if and when a hurricane strikes

NJ Car Inspection

4/15/2016 (Permalink)

Getting your car inspected in New Jersey is about to change big time.

Depending on your situation, the changes could either aggravate you, or give you some relief.

Drivers will have to take their vehicle to a private inspection station to get it re-inspected if it fails emissions testing under rules changes that will take place this summer, according to the Motor Vehicle Commission.

And the state will no longer pay for a second test given by private contractors at state inspection stations if the motorist brings their vehicle back to be re-tested after flunking, according to the MVC.

Specifically, the MVC says the changes will involve:

  • Only passenger-plated vehicles will be initially inspected at a Central Inspection Facility. You can find a list of the facilities nearest you at: Find a State-operated Inspection Station (Note: passenger-plated vehicles may continue to receive initial inspections at a Private Inspection Facility.)
  • Any passenger vehicle that FAILS initial inspection will have to be re-inspected at a Private Inspection Facility. For a list of Private Inspection Facilities in your area, click here: Find a Private Inspection Facility
  • All commercial vehicles currently requiring an inspection will now be inspected at the Private Inspection Facilities. Your vehicle may already be exempt. Please go to: FAQs- changes effective Aug. 1, 2010: emissions-only [pdf] to determine if your commercial vehicle requires an inspection and if it is exempted.
  • ALL RE-INSPECTIONS will be conducted by the Private Inspection Facilities. Step-by-step instructions for repairs and re-inspection will be given once the new inspection process in in place.
  • Under the new program, if your passenger vehicle is 1995 or older, you will no longer be required to have an inspection. However, inspections of this type of vehicle will continue until a new program is in place.

MVC spokesman Mairin Bellack said the agency is looking at cost-saving measures, and inspecting older cars has become less necessary "since their population has gotten smaller."

Read more: New Jersey Ending Emissions Testing For Older Cars

The decisions are drawing flak from environmentalists.

The Sierra Club criticized the decision to give independent repair shops the power to regulate pollution standards, as well as allowing old cars to escape pollution monitoring.

The decisions, the organization said, could decrease air quality and increase safety concerns for motorists and residents.

Motor vehicles and other types of transportation are the biggest source of air pollution in New Jersey, and the Sierra Club says the state has never met the federal air-quality standard for ground-level ozone.

“What the Christie Administration is doing is wrong; it will impact the people of New Jersey right in the lungs," Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said in a release. "The MVC is siding with polluting old cars over protecting public health and the environment."

The decisions, he said, will affect the people in urban areas the most, noting that these areas already have some of the worst air quality in the nation

"For example, Newark’s school children experience a 25 percent asthma rate, double the state and national rates," he said. "Treatment for asthma alone accounts for 12 percent of New Jersey’s managed care costs."

Environmentalists say the Christie Administration is doing this as a continuation of their "rollbacks of clean air."

The state is suing the Obama Administration over the Clean Power Plan. Christie pulled New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). New Jersey also did not sign on to the EV compact with eight other states.