Chicago residents would no longer have to drive to the suburbs for emissions testing if a proposed Illinois Senate bill becomes law.
Senate Bill 1234, which was proposed by State Sens. Sara Feigenholtz and Robert Martwick, would require the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to submit a plan to open testing sites in Chicago and outline potential locations, implementation plans and timelines, according to a news release.
The Illinois EPA in 2016 closed four vehicle emission testing sites in Chicago, in what Feigenholtz called "an ill-conceived scheme and another post-mortem blunder of the Rauner administration.”
The closures forced drivers to spend hours traveling to the suburbs and resulted in "countless" calls from constituents to restore closer sites, the lawmaker said, but noted there has been "some pushback" from the IEPA.
The bill passed the Senate, 52-0, and will be heard in the House Transportation: Vehicles & Safety Committee Wednesday, the lawmakers stated.
In Illinois, residents of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs, as well as the counties that border St. Louis, must have their vehicles' emissions tested every other year. Emissions tests are required in those regions as both are considered “large urbanized areas that do not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards” under the federal Clean Air Act.
For the Chicago area, residents in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties are required to get the tests. Certain residents in Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties will also need to have their vehicles tested.
Residents can check to see if they’re required to obtain the tests by using the following ZIP code finder tool, produced by Illinois Legal Aid.