Gov. Doug Ducey has asked everyone to stay at home if possible, but the state is still expecting most Tucson and Phoenix drivers to bring their vehicles in for emissions testing. Some people see as a mixed message.
Last month Ducey told the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to offer one-year waivers to drivers over 65 who don't want to bring their car or truck to an emission testing station in the middle of a pandemic. But what about the rest of us? Several listeners have asked AZPM why the exemption can't be extended to everyone.
ADEQ spokesperson Erin Jordan says they're trying to reduce the risk of mandatory emissions testing for those under 65.
"The vehicle emissions inspection testing stations are taking additional precautions to regularly disinfect and sanitize equipment and services and maintain social distances from customers. They've also changed the processes to reduce the need for inspectors to enter the vehicles. Instead they have the customer do some of that," Jordan said.
Jordan says the Tucson and Phoenix areas do not meet EPA air quality standards, and the emissions testing program is part of the state's way to address the problem. And she notes reducing air pollution makes breathing easier for everyone, including those who contract COVID-19.