Chicago residents would no longer have to travel to the suburbs to test emissions if a bill proposed by the Illinois Senate 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 test sites in Chicago and outline potential locations, implementation plans and timelines, according to A press release.
The Illinois EPA shut down four vehicle emissions testing sites in Chicago in 2016, in what Feigenholtz called “an ill-conceived plan and another post-mortem mistake by the Rauner administration.”
The closures forced drivers to spend hours driving to the suburbs and resulted in “countless” calls from voters to restore closer sites, the lawmaker said, but noted there had been “a some setback” on the part of the IEPA.
The bill passed the Senate, 52 to 0, and will be heard Wednesday in the House Transportation: Vehicles and Safety Committee, lawmakers said.
In Illinois, residents of Chicago and surrounding suburbs, as well as counties that border St. Louis, must have their vehicles tested for emissions every two years. Emissions testing is required in these areas, as both are considered “large urbanized areas that do not meet national ambient air quality standards” under federal air quality law. .
For the Chicago area, residents of Cook, DuPage and Lake counties must take the tests. Some residents of Kane, Kendall, McHenry and Will counties will also need to have their vehicles tested.
Residents can check if they are required to get the tests by using the following zip code search tool, produced by Illinois Legal Aid.