Saturday, May 03, 2008

More emissions testing questions

Today's JSOnline features an emissions testing follow-up - Emissions to fall despite testing cuts. The article and accompanying graphic begs some questions.

Above is a plot of the data that was provided in the sidebar. The test results for treadmill versus computer checks are remarkably consistent, except for 2004 model cars. This isn't just chance, due the large number of tests being performed, statistics says these numbers mean something. These vehicles should have better emissions than older cars, just as the treadmill results show. There is something wrong with the computer modules on 2004 vehicles or with the software used by the state's contractor to read and analyze the data for these cars. This problem needs to be researched and a solution found.

The article includes this statement.
If the changes had not been made, and more cars had continued to be tested, DNR projections made available this week show emissions of nitrogen oxide would be only 1.7% lower and VOC emissions only 3.6% lower in 2009.
Because testing of 1996 and older cars is being eliminated based on the above cost-benefit comparison, what are the numbers for cars built in 2001 and later? There are certainly more 2001 through 2004 cars in service than those from 1996, but it takes more than 10 times more of these to have as many testing failures as the statistically average 1996 car.

I believe it can be shown that eliminating testing or at least reducing the testing frequency of cars that are 0 to 7 years old will add less pollutants than eliminating the pre-1997 vehicle testing (the limited data provided in the article on percentages of model years in operation definitely supports my theory). Based on the DNR-DOT acceptance criteria, Wisconsin
can eliminate testing of all 2001 and newer vehicles with minimal environmental impact.

Another question in my mind is what kind of Environmental Impact Analysis was performed to allow this net increase in pollution? Or can DOT increase pollution without performing a detailed environmental analysis?

Come on Lee Bergquist and unnamed DNR officials, Wisconsin taxpayers and motorists want to know THE REST OF THE STORY.

H/T - Dad29

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