Health officials are expecting a big turnout of service station owners at Thursday's public hearing on the new Davis County ordinance governing vehicle emissions testing.

But they also want to hear from the general public, which is equally affected by the new law, according to county environmental health director Rich Harvey.The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 23, in the auditorium of the Davis School District's headquarters in Farmington.

Previous hearings in Salt Lake and Utah counties drew large crowds, Harvey said, but 90 percent of the comments came from service station owners or mechanics who do the test, asking for higher testing fees.

The ordinance was written to comply with a new state law requiring that the four Wasatch Front counties that mandate emissions testing establish a reciprocal testing system. That will allow a vehicle registered in one county to be tested in any of the four: Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Utah counties.

It also requires purchase of a new computerized testing system called the UTAH91 emissions analyzer, Harvey said, which costs between $10,000 and $12,000.

The Davis ordinance is proposing that emission testing fees be set in the $9 to $12 range. In previous hearings, service station owners have asked for fees in the $15 to $18 range, saying they must recoup their investment in the new equipment.

"We certainly will be pleased to take comment at the hearing from those involved in the emission inspection industry, but we are also very hopeful that we will receive more comments from the general public," Harvey said.

Besides setting fees, the new ordinance includes numerous other changes, according to Harvey.

In addition to the emissions testing, the law allows inspection stations to do the state-mandated safety inspection on vehicles. It also requires public and government-owned vehicles to be tested.

The law sets up standardized emissions levels in all four counties and includes technical changes to conform with new vehicle technology and the new federal Clean Air Act, Harvey said.


(Additional information)

Emissions ordinance

Copies of the ordinance are available at the health department in Room 24 of the county courthouse in Farmington between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. In addition to comments at Thursday's public hearing, the department will accept written comments through 5 p.m. Friday, May 24.