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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Canyon Commishes Letter to DEQ Re: Emissions Testing

We are posting the Canyon County Commissioners letter to Idaho DEQ Director, Toni Hardesty.

(It has been suggested by a Guardian reader that lieu of campaign contributions to our State Governor and other politicos who voter for this legislation we let them know we will be spending that money on mandated emissions testing.)

"February 18, 2010

Toni Hardesty, Director
Idaho Department of Environmental Quality
1410 N. Hilton
Boise, Idaho 83707

Dear Director Hardesty:

As you know, Canyon County vehemently objects to the imposition of any motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program that is not based on sound, independently verifiable, and logically valid science that can be implemented to the benefit, not just expense, of Canyon County residents.

We believe your plan fails as to these concerns, and furthermore amounts to a betrayal of the founding principle of this country: that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed. Be advised that Canyon County does not consent to your vehicle emission testing program.

After multiple conversations with Commissioner Ferdinand, we believed you had agreed to make a good-faith effort to work with Canyon county on a solution. Instead, we were locked out of the process.

We are outraged at the scope of the discretionary power Idaho Code Section 39-116B has vested in your person, as we are convinced that the best interests of Canyon County did not factor at all into your decision. In fact, it appears that the outcome you have reached was predetermined.

Although we have repeatedly requested information from you and your Department, we have not received a straight answer about many issues. Where is the science informing your decisions? How were you able to determine that air pollutants from motor vehicles constitute one of two emissions source contributing to the design value of 85%? Was there ever, in good faith, a chance for an equitable joint powers agreement? Did a legitimate likelihood ever exist that the County and its cities could propose an alternative air quality strategy which you would have found acceptable?

It doesn't appear so, as the plan you intend to implement will cost Canyon county residents approximately $750,000 annually while reducing Treasure Valley NOx and VOC by less than 0.5% each. By what measure is that a good plan? Something doesn't smell right, Director Hardesty, and it not the air in Canyon County.

We understand that DEQ has entered into a contract with SysTech International- a non Canyon County entity, selected without Canyon County input-to run your vehicle emission inspection and maintenance program in our county. It may therefore be an opportune time for Canyon County to remind you that we, as an entity, own more than 200 registered vehicles used for public purposes. We do not intend to submit any of these vehicle for testing under your proposed program. Perhaps by this small act of civil disobedience we can accomplish that which our respectful adherence to the law has failed to secure: a voice in decisions which affect us.

Abraham Lincoln said the best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. We intend to give you that opportunity.

Sincerely, David Ferdinand, II Chairman, Steven J. Rule Member, Kathryn Alder, Member"

THE GUARDIAN looked up Idaho Code 39-116B and here is what it says:

"(a) An airshed, as defined by the department, within a metropolitan
statistical area, as defined by the United States office of
management and budget, has ambient concentration design values equal
to or above eighty-five percent (85%) of a national ambient air
quality standard, as defined by the United States environmental
protection agency, for three (3) consecutive years starting with the
2005 design value; and
(b) The department determines air pollutants from motor vehicles
constitute one (1) of the top two (2) emission sources contributing
to the design value of eighty-five percent (85%)."


  1. Bottom line. The only way to stop VET in Canyon County is suit against DEQ initiated by our Commissioners.

    The law must be upheld and Condition B of the cited law is not met. The data does not support vehicle emissions testing in Canyon County nor Ada County. The DEQ is involved in a deliberately contrived interpretation of the law and what they are doing here is illegal.

  2. Follow the money. The DEQ has a $3/vehicle tested interest in this business of testing cars that simply do not need testing. Anyone with a car not running right will take the time to have it fixed given the cost of gas these days.

    I would support a small in crease in registration fees to help people who can't afford to get their cars fixed to stop any pollution. VET is not going to do anything to improve air quality as long as the DEQ issues wholesale permits for stack gases belching out pollution 24/7 and gas stations without vapor recovery systems. Think about how much you drive your car in any given day against the pollution generated by stationary sources in this valley.

  3. Sometimes it can be confusing with all the different rules for safety and emissions control, when you need and what exactly should be in good working condition. It can actually vary from state to state, what is necessary,


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