Release 00-08
April 27, 2000 
CONTACT: Jerry Martin
(916) 322-2990
Richard Varenchik
(626) 575-6730

ARB to Hold Smog Check II Workshop

        SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board (ARB) will hold a workshop Tuesday to seek public comment before finalizing a report on the effectiveness of the state’s Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance program for automobiles, also known as Smog Check II.

       The workshop begins at 10 a.m. at the ARB’s Sacramento office, 2020 L Street. The draft report is available on the ARB Internet site at

       The report is based on data collected during the summer of 1999 and on changes to Smog Check II made after the 1999 data was collected. Today’s program, with nitrogen oxides (NOx) inspections more rigorous than those used while data was being collected in 1999, reduces total emissions by 67 tons-per-day (TPD). This is an overall 60 percent of the 112 TPD reductions anticipated for the program in the 1994 State Implementation Plan (SIP). The SIP is the state’s “roadmap” for reducing ozone pollution.

        Smog Check II is required by the federal Clean Air Act for areas of the state that have serious ozone or carbon monoxide air pollution problems.  It has been implemented in the most heavily populated regions of Los Angeles, San Diego and Sacramento, the Coachella and Antelope valleys, and the San Joaquin Valley.

        In contrast to the basic Smog Check program, which runs in areas without serious air pollution problems, Smog Check II has more stringent emissions limits and more rigorous testing to assure that vehicles continue to comply with emissions standards through proper maintenance and repair of emission control systems.

       The report also shows that Smog Check II achieved significant emissions reductions in 1999.  Using roadside test data from more than 9,000 vehicles, ARB estimates that the program cut 45 TPD of smog-forming hydrocarbon (HC) and (NOx) from the state’s smoggiest areas in the summer of 1999.

        When the U.S. EPA approved the SIP in 1997, the emission-reduction strategies in the plan became federally enforceable.  Since the program is still not accomplishing the anticipated SIP reductions of 112 TPD, changes to increase its effectiveness are needed.  ARB anticipates that the shortfall can be made up by improving the program’s efficiency and getting increased ozone reductions from other sources.

          HC and NOx contribute to ozone, the main irritant in urban smog, and react with other chemicals to form particulate matter that can be inhaled. Both of these pollutants cause or exacerbate lung disease.

         The final report will be presented to the U.S. EPA and the state’s I/M Review Committee, a legislatively created committee charged with analyzing the effect of Smog Check II on vehicle emissions and air quality.

       The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.  ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy.  The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.

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