OGDEN — Vehicle owners will be paying $5 more for emissions tests after the Weber-Morgan Board of Health approved the increase Monday during a public hearing.
The idea for the increase came from inspection station operators, said Brian Cowan, assistant administrator for environmental health.
Operators initially asked to remove the Motor Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program’s emissions inspection fee cap and let the market dictate the price.
But because the emissions inspection is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency, Cowan said, the county health department believed the public should not be subject to random fees.
The department did, however, concede to a proposal to raise the cap from $25 to $30.
Julio Automotive shop foreman Ron Vockler agrees that emissions prices should remain low, because they are mandated by the federal government.
“In my ever-so-humble opinion, overtaxing the public is never good,” he said. “I think our current rate is fair.”
However, performing the emissions tests can be costly to auto shops. Simply renting the testing equipment can run about $800 a month.
“You have to do a lot of cars to cover that kind of money,” Vockler said.
Julio Automotive plans to begin doing emissions and inspections tests in two months, when it moves to a new shop at 1456 Wall Ave. With the area’s high carbon monoxide levels, emissions testing is a way to keep pollution down.
“The more cars you have on the road, the more pollutants you have,” Cowan said, “so you have to make sure those cars are working correctly.”
Automobiles account for 40 to 45 percent of the pollutants in the county, he said. Other factors include industry, homes, population and topography.
Copies of the current fee schedule may be obtained at www.webermorganhealth.org or at the Environmental Health office on the second floor of the Weber-Morgan Health Department, 477 23rd St., Ogden.