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Legislators Again Consider Axing Tailpipe Test

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis – Some Missouri state legislators want to put an end to the state's tailpipe emissions testing program.

House Speaker Catherine Hanaway said Tuesday a bipartisan panel will determine if the Gateway Clean Air Program is producing its intended results.

The Republican says legislators have received thousands of complaints from motorists.

"Of course I would like to see this program done away with, but I don't want to do it at the cost of all of Missouri's federal highway dollars, or at the cost of people's lung and heart health," Hanaway said. "And so if it can be done without jeopardizing those things, we should definitely do it."

Earlier this year the Missouri House gave preliminary approval to a bill that would do just that. But the legislation never got anywhere.

Some legislators feared it would break the state's contract with the company that does the testing, and put taxpayers on the hook for $40 million.

Environmental and health advocates say some sort of tailpipe testing program is needed.