DNREC To Update Vehicle Emission Testing Requirements

Two Inspection and Maintenance Program Virtual Workshops To Be Held
May 25 To Ensure Delaware Compliance With Clean Air Act Requirements

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced today virtual workshops will be held by DNREC’s Division of Air Quality on Wednesday, May 25 to discuss updates to Delaware’s Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) Program for new on-road vehicles. The first workshop on proposed I/M program changes will begin at 10 a.m., with the second workshop starting at 6 p.m. More information about the proposed amendments for the I/M program can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

The federal Clean Air Act requires areas of the country that are not in attainment with the ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard – areas, like Delaware, that have had days where ozone exceeds the standard – to implement an I/M program for registered vehicles to ensure vehicle emission systems are operating properly in preventing pollution.

DNREC’s Division of Air Quality is proposing amendments to Delaware’s Vehicle I/M Program to reduce expected emissions from new vehicles and to develop consistent emissions requirements statewide. The proposed changes will amend state regulations, with the regulations going through the state’s regulatory process that includes public review and a comment period. Before the formal regulatory process starts, the I/M workshops will be held by DNREC to preview and discuss the I/M program changes with the public. Once finalized, the changes will be implemented by the Delaware Department of Transportation’s (DelDOT) Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The I/M program is part of the vehicle inspection process in Delaware when a vehicle is registered or the vehicle registration is renewed. Vehicle emissions negatively impact quality. I/M programs ensure that vehicle emissions meet the manufacturers’ requirements. Current I/M regulations exempt new cars from having to go through an emissions test for a vehicle’s first five years on the road, and the Delaware General Assembly in 2017 passed legislation to extend that exemption from emissions testing to the first seven years of a new vehicle’s life.

Extending the I/M exemption for new vehicles (which already has been implemented) requires changes to emissions testing for other vehicles to ensure air quality is not negatively affected. These program updates are a necessary follow-up to the 2017 legislation, and have been anticipated by DNREC and DelDOT since the legislation was passed.

More information about the proposed changes to Delaware’s Vehicle I/M Program can be found at dnrec.delaware.gov.

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Air Quality monitors and regulates all emissions to the air. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov; Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov