Texas SIP: 30 TAC 114.03. Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program; SIP effective 09/21/94 until April 9, 2001
Section 114.3. Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program.
(Approved by EPA 08/22/94 (59 FR 43046) at 52.2270(c)(87) effective 09/21/94.)
(a) Unless specifically defined in the Texas Clean Air Act (TCAA) or in the rules of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), the terms used by the TNRCC have the meanings commonly ascribed to them in the field of air pollution control. In addition to the terms which are defined by TCAA, the following words and terms, when used in this rule, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
(1) Adjusted annually-Percentage, if any, by which the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding calendar year differs from the CPI for 1989; adjustments shall be effective on January 1 of each year.
(2) Emissions tune-up-A basic tune-up along with functional checks and any necessary replacement or repair of emission control components.
(3) Fleet vehicle-Any motor vehicle operated as a member of a group of more than ten motor vehicles belonging to a single non-household entity; any state or local government motor vehicle, including a motor vehicle exempted from the payment of a registration fee and issued a specially designated license plate; or any federal government motor vehicle, except for a tactical military vehicle.
(4) Managing contractor-Firm contracted by TNRCC to design, build, equip, maintain, and oversee operation of vehicle emission inspection facilities, operate referee inspection facilities, and provide other administrative functions for the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program contained in the revised Texas Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) State Implementation Plan (SIP).
(5) Motorist-A person or other entity responsible for the repair and maintenance of a motor vehicle, which may include, but is not limited to, owners and lessees.
(6) Primarily operated-Use of a motor vehicle greater than 50% of total use as measured in vehicle miles traveled.
(7) Program area-County or counties in which TNRCC, in coordination with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDot), administers the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP. The program shall be implemented in two models, basic and enhanced.
(8) Referee inspection facility-Station administered by a Managing Contractor for challenge and waiver testing purposes and determination of reciprocal compliance.
(9) Retest-Successive vehicle emissions inspections following the failing of an initial test by a vehicle during a single testing cycle.
(10) Revised Texas I/M SIP-The Texas SIP as revised in accordance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 40 Code of Federal Regulations Part 51, Subpart S, issued November 5, 1992, including the procedures and requirements of the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program.
(11) Testing cycle-Biennial cycle commencing with the first registration expiration date for which a motor vehicle is subject to a vehicle emissions inspection, required for a motor vehicle of an even-numbered model year during an even-numbered year and for a motor vehicle of an odd-numbered model year during an odd-numbered year.
(b) No person may operate any motor vehicle which does not comply with:
(1) air pollution emission control related requirements included in the annual vehicle safety inspection requirements administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), as evidenced by a currently valid inspection certificate affixed to the vehicle windshield until such requirements are superseded by the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP; or
(2) the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(c) No person may issue or allow the issuance of:
(1) a vehicle inspection certification, as authorized by DPS, unless all air pollution emission control related requirements of the annual vehicle safety inspection are completely and properly performed in accordance with the rules and regulations adopted by DPS. Prior to taking any enforcement action regarding this provision, TNRCC shall consult with DPS. The requirements in this paragraph shall apply until superseded by the vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance requirements and procedures contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP; or
(2) a Vehicle Emissions Certificate (VEC), as authorized by TNRCC, unless:
(A) all vehicle emissions I/M requirements and procedures required by the revised Texas I/M SIP are completely and properly performed; or
(B) reciprocal compliance is established in accordance with all vehicle emissions I/M requirements and procedures contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP. A motorist shall submit an original vehicle emissions inspection document to a referee inspection facility. If the inspector determines that the document fulfills the requirements of the program area in which the motorist intends to register a motor vehicle, the motorist shall receive a VEC upon remittance of any applicable fees.
(d) No person may allow or participate in the preparation, duplication, sale, distribution, or use of false, counterfeit, or stolen VECs, vehicle emissions repair documentation, or other documents which may be used to circumvent the vehicle emissions I/M requirements and procedures contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(e) No person may own, operate, or allow the operation of a fleet vehicle primarily operated in a program area, unless the fleet vehicle has complied with all vehicle emissions I/M requirements contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP. An owner or operator of a fleet vehicle exempted from the payment of a registration fee and issued a specially designated license plate or otherwise not required to be registered in a program area by TxDOT shall comply with the following requirements specific to such fleets:
(1) present the fleet vehicle for inspection in accordance with the fleet vehicle inspection schedule developed by TNRCC;
(2) register with TNRCC by March 1, 1994, and shall provide by that date information on each vehicle including, but not limited to, all data required for the registration of the fleet vehicle by TxDOT and other information specified on forms provided by TNRCC; and
(3) maintain the following vehicle information and shall provide that information to TNRCC, EPA, or local air pollution control agency upon request:
(A) the number and types of vehicles operated and maintained by the fleet;
(B) vehicle identification number of any vehicle currently operated and notating changes such as purchased, leased, sold, or retired;
(C) changes to the fuel type that would affect the applicability of program requirements;
(D) number of miles traveled and percentage of miles traveled by each vehicle in a program area; and
(E) other data as required by TNRCC.
(f) All federal government agencies shall require a motor vehicle operated by any federal government agency employee on any property or facility under the jurisdiction of the agency and located in a program area to comply with all vehicle emissions I/M requirements contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(g) A Managing Contractor shall design, build, and oversee operation of inspection facilities in accordance with the performance and operating reliability standards and other requirements and procedures contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(h) No organization, business, person, or other entity may represent itself as an inspector certified by a Managing Contractor, as a repair technician certified by TNRCC, or as a repair facility certified by TNRCC, unless such certification has been issued pursuant to the certification requirements and procedures contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(i) Any motorist in an enhanced program area whose motor vehicle has been issued an emissions-related recall notice, after the program start date and earlier than six months before the motor vehicle is presented for a vehicle emissions inspection, shall furnish proof of compliance with the recall notice in order for the inspection to commence, provided that compliance with the recall has not been proven during a previous vehicle emissions inspection. The motorist may present a written statement from the dealership or leasing agency indicating that emissions repairs have been completed as proof of compliance.
(j) A motorist whose motor vehicle has failed an on-road test administered by TNRCC shall:
(1) submit the motor vehicle for an out-of-cycle vehicle emissions inspection within 30 days of written notice by TNRCC; and
(2) satisfy all inspection or waiver requirements of the vehicle emissions I/M program contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP within 60 days of written notice by TNRCC.
(k) A motorist may apply to the Managing Contractor for waivers which defer the need for full compliance with vehicle emissions standards for a specified period of time after failing a vehicle emissions inspection. For the minimum expenditure and time extension waiver, the motorist may apply only once for each type of waiver for each testing cycle and shall pay any applicable processing fee. For the one-time hardship extension waiver, the motorist may apply once for the lifetime of the vehicle and shall pay any applicable processing fee.
(1) A Minimum Expenditure Waiver may be granted in accordance with the following conditions.
(A) The motor vehicle must have failed a retest after repairs satisfying the following conditions have been performed:
(i) in enhanced program areas, repairs shall require a minimum expenditure of at least $450, adjusted annually;
(ii) in basic program areas, repairs shall require a minimum expenditure of at least $75 for pre-1981 model year vehicles and at least $200 for 1981 and later model year vehicles;
(iii) repairs shall be performed by a TNRCC voluntarily certified repair technician;
(iv) repairs shall be directly applicable to the cause for the test failure; and
(v) repairs shall have directly reduced emissions by 25% of the difference between emissions during the initial test and the emissions standards contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP.
(B) A Minimum Expenditure Waiver shall be valid for the remaining portion of the testing cycle.
(2) A one-time hardship extension waiver may be granted once in the life of the vehicle in accordance with the following conditions.
(A) A motorist must have a valid VEC indicating that the subject vehicle failed the initial emission inspection test.
(B) A motorist shall provide proof in writing of at least one of the following criteria to establish financial hardship:
(i) the motorist's family income is below the poverty level as defined by the Office of Management and Budget Poverty Index;
(ii) the motorist's family receives financial assistance pursuant to the Texas Human Resources Code, Chapter 31, Financial Assistance Programs; Code;
(iii) the motorist's family receives food stamp assistance as determined by the Texas Department of Human Services in accordance with the Food Stamp Act Amendments of 1977; or
(iv) the motorist's family earns not more than 40% of the area median income as defined in the Comprehensive Housing Affordability Strategy of the Texas Department of Housing and Community Development.
(3) A Time Extension Waiver may be granted in accordance with the following conditions.
(A) The motorist can document that emissions-related repairs cannot be completed before the expiration of current registration or before the 30-day period following an out-of-cycle inspection because the repairs require an uncommon part. An uncommon part is defined as one that takes more than 30 days for expected delivery and installation and a motorist can prove that a reasonable attempt made to locate necessary emission control parts by retail or wholesale part suppliers, will exceed the remaining time prior to expiration of the vehicle registration.
(B) The motorist shall provide an original VEC and an original itemized documentation indicating prepayment, if applicable, and expected delivery and installation dates of uncommon parts before a Time Extension Waiver can be issued.
(C) The motorist shall return the motor vehicle to the referee inspection facility for a retest and verification of repairs upon completion of the repairs.
(D) The motorist shall provide to TNRCC, prior to expiration of a Time Extension Waiver, adequate documentation that one of the following conditions exists:
(i) the motor vehicle passed a retest;
(ii) the motorist qualifies for a Minimum Expenditure Waiver or Hardship Waiver; or
(iii) the motor vehicle shall no longer be operated in the program area.
(E) The length of a Time Extension Waiver shall depend upon expected delivery and installation dates of uncommon parts as determined by the Managing Contractor, but shall not exceed three months.
(4) If a motorist leases or offers for lease, sells or offers for sale, trades or offers for trade, or otherwise transfers the title of a motor vehicle during the time any waiver is in effect, the motorist shall notify the prospective owner or operator in writing of the waiver.
(5) A motorist shall use any available warranty coverage to obtain needed repairs before expenditures shall be used in calculating the minimum repair expenditures to qualify for a Minimum Expenditure or a Hardship Waiver, unless the warranty remedy has been denied in writing from the manufacturer or authorized dealer.
(6) A motorist may not use or attempt to use expenditures for tampering-related repairs in calculating the minimum repair expenditures to qualify for a Minimum Expenditure or a Hardship Waiver. Tampering includes, but is not limited to, engine modifications, emission system modifications, or fuel-type modifications not approved by TNRCC or EPA.
(7) A motorist shall provide to the Managing Contractor at the referee inspection facility an original retest VEC and an original itemized receipt indicating the emissions-related repairs performed for the issuance of a Minimum Expenditure or a Hardship Waiver. A motorist shall provide to the Managing Contractor at the referee inspection facility an original retest VEC and an original itemized receipt indicating the purchase, payment, and expected delivery and installation dates of uncommon parts for the issuance of a Time Extension Waiver.
(l) A motorist may petition the Executive Director of the TNRCC for the exemption of a motor vehicle from the requirements of the vehicle emissions I/M program contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP, upon demonstration that the motorist has taken reasonable measures to comply with such requirements and that such exemption shall have minimal impact on air quality. If the Executive Director approves the petition, the motorist may receive an exemption upon remittance of any applicable fees.
(m) The requirements of the vehicle emissions I/M program contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP shall be applied to all 1968 and newer model year gasoline-powered motor vehicles, excluding motorcycles. Alternatively fueled or dual-fueled vehicles will be tested in the gasoline mode, if the vehicle can be operated on gasoline.
(n) The requirements of the vehicle emissions I/M program contained in the revised Texas I/M SIP shall be applied in the program areas in accordance with the following schedule:
(1) the basic program in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Jefferson, Orange, and Tarrant Counties beginning on July 1, 1994;
(2) the enhanced program in Brazoria, El Paso, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, and Montgomery Counties beginning on January 1, 1995; and
(3) the enhanced program in Chambers, Liberty, and Waller Counties beginning on January 1, 1997.
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