Emissions Inspections to End in 26 NC Counties

Cars in traffic producing smog.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Sept. 24 approved a reduction in North Carolina counties required to perform yearly vehicle emissions tests.

Beginning on Dec. 1, 26 additional counties will no longer be required to conduct emissions tests.

Those counties include:

Brunswick
Burke
Caldwell
Carteret
Catawba
Chatham
Cleveland
Craven
Edgecombe
Granville
Harnett
Haywood
Henderson
Lenoir
Moore
Nash
Orange
Pitt
Robeson
Rutherford
Stanly
Stokes
Surry
Wayne
Wilkes
Wilson

The approval was a result of the passage of Senate Bill 131 (Regulatory Reform Act of 2016-2017) by the General Assembly during the 2017 long session. Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, has certified the Implementation Plan to the EPA making Dec. 1 as the date the reduction becomes effective. Details of the plan can be found on the NCDEQ website.

All counties will still require the safety inspection. Fifty-two counties already do not require annual vehicle emissions tests. After Dec. 1, emissions inspections will still be required in 22 counties. Those include Alamance, Buncombe, Cabarrus, Cumberland, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Franklin, Gaston, Guilford, Iredell, Johnston, Lee, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Onslow, Randolph, Rockingham, Rowan, Union and Wake counties.

A list of counties required to perform yearly emissions inspections, as well as information on emissions and safety inspections, is available on the NCDMV website.