The county is gearing up to participate in a four-county computerized vehicle emissions monitoring program that starts July 1, the Davis County health board was told Tuesday.

Rich Harvey, head of the county health department's environmental division, said new computerized montioring equipment that will be installed in service stations and diagnostic centers will be examined and certified by his staff members beginning April 15.The standarization of equipment is mandated by the state legislature, Harvey said. It will allow a resident of any of the four counties that are required to monitor vehicle emissions have a vehicle tested in any of the counties.

Up to now, three counties - Salt Lake, Davis, and Utah - have been required by the state to set emission standards to meet federal clean-air standards. Weber County will begin emissions testing next January.

But the four counties, depending on which parameter or measurement they violate, test for different standards, Harvey said. In the past, that precluded testing a vehicle in any but its home counties.

Davis vehicles were tested for ozone emissions because the county was in violation of federal ozone levels, Harvey said, while Utah county has been in violation of carbon monoxide levels. Salt Lake County tested for both, and Weber County will be testing for carbon monoxide.

With the new equipment, the vehicle's home county standards can be programmed in and the test completed. An emissions certificate from one of the counties will be valid in any of the four.

Up to now, a vehicle's emissions certificate had to be from its home county or it couldn't be registered.

Harvey also told the board he believes the county is falling behind in coming into compliance with testing diesel vehicles.

Diesel-powered cars and light trucks have been exempt from emissions testing up to now but will be included by next year.

Harvey wants the county to build a central emissions-testing facility where diesel and non-diesel vehicles can be tested. The equipment is too expensive and there aren't enough diesel vehicles in the county for private operators, such as service stations, to invest in the technology, according to Harvey.

His request for a central testing station, paid for by an increase in emissions-testing fees and new registration fees on diesel vehicles, was cut from the department's current budget by the County Commission.

In addition to testing vehicles for the public, the tech center would train mechanics to operate testing equipment, test and recertify equipment, test county vehicles and operate as an enforcement or auditing center.

The board supports the concept.