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Recognizing the program is no longer needed in Alaskaâ€™s largest city and the cost to Alaskans is an unnecessary financial burden, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich Friday urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to move quickly to end the cityâ€™s Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance (I/M) program.
In a conversation with EPA Region 10 Director, Dennis McLarren, Begich asked that the EPA end the program as soon as possible.
“This is an easy one,” Begich said. “Anchorage hasn’t violated clean air standards in 15 years. This is a federal mandate we no longer need nor should have to pay for. I’m encouraging the EPA to act as quickly as possible to end these mandatory inspections.”
In 2007, when Begich was mayor of Anchorage, he supported a move to end the I/M program and the Assembly voted to scrap it. It was later reinstated by the Assembly, until last year when the Assembly voted again to end it. Currently, the EPA is taking public comment on the final phase out.
“We really don’t need any further study of this issue. Cars run cleaner, the air in Anchorage has been fine for years, and it’s time to close-up shop on this program,” Begich added.
Begich’s discussion with McLarren today also included how to move forward on oil and gas development in Alaska’s Arctic and Conoco Phillips’ CD-5 project in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.