Environment
5:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Hearings On Proposed Changes To Air Rules

Credit epSos via Flickr, Creative Commons

There are public hearings on proposed changes to auto emissions tests and toxic air pollutant rules this week in Raleigh.

A bill that passed the legislature would exempt cars and light-duty trucks from their first three years of auto emissions tests. Right now cars and trucks are exempt only during their first year. That hearing is Wednesday evening. And another hearing is scheduled for Thursday on a bill that would change the state's rules for controlling toxic air pollutants.

Tom Mather is a spokesman for the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

"There are a lot of different types of toxic air emissions- at the federal level about 150, at the state about 100, and some of these plants that emit these pollutants are close to where people live, if they happen to live near industry or an industrial park. So they are things that people might be concerned about," said Mather.

The bill says that if a company meets the federal rules then it will automatically comply with state rules. The Southern Environmental Law Center objects to the proposed change, saying federal regulations won't adequately protect residents who live near multiple plants emitting pollution.