CLEARFIELD — A portion of the I/M Emission Testing Station in Kaysville may remain open after Jan. 1, to perform emission testing on older diesel-fueled trucks.
Davis County is in negotiations with a firm to provide that service at the tech center, 20 N. 600 West, in Kaysville, Davis County Health Director Lewis R. Garrett told the Davis Board of Health on Tuesday.
Contracting for the work, which involves 7,800 registered diesel-fueled trucks in the county, is “far less” costly than keeping county staff onboard to perform the duties, Garrett said.
The county is closing the I/M vehicle emission testing side of the station effective Jan. 1, to save $300,000 in costs and to meet the state Legislature’s intent of having the private sector perform vehicle emission testing.
The closure will result in 15 of the 20 employees at the station losing their jobs.
The reason current staff are not being kept on to perform this work is directly related to cost, Garrett said. Contracting for the work saves the county hundred of thousands of dollars a year.
Contracting with a private provider for the diesel-fueled vehicle emission testing, an action the health board approved, now must meet with the approval of the Davis County Commission.
The contract work will involve emission testing on diesel trucks that are 2007 models or older — those models that do not provide on-board diagnostics, Garrett said. There are roughly 7,800 of those registered vehicles in the county, with — on average — 5 percent of that total number experiencing a fail rate when tested.
Board member and Clearfield Mayor Don Wood at the Tuesday meeting initially questioned whether servicing 4 percent of Davis County’s entire vehicle fleet, about 189,000 registered vehicles, to catch only about 5 percent that fail the emission test, is worth the money the county will spend on the private contract.
With air quality being such a public health concern in Davis County, Garrett said, the health board needs to have some sort of emission testing in place to keep in check the obvious offenders, those diesel trucks that when accelerating bellow large clouds of black smoke into the air.
The private contractor will also troubleshoot when testing diesel-fueled trucks in cases when a complaint has been lodged, Garrett said.
There are always operators who can circumvent the emission test performed on their truck, Garrett said, but “most people want to comply.”
He said that as the older diesel-fueled truck fleet diminishes over the next few years, the county can look at doing away with the contract it will have with its private provider.