Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: May 10, 2006
State to end emissions testing in Floyd, Clark counties, request ozone redesignation

JEFFERSONVILLE, Indiana (May 10, 2006) -- Governor Mitch Daniels today announced plans to end the vehicle inspection and maintenance program in Clark and Floyd counties at the conclusion of this year. In addition, the state will work with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to discontinue unnecessary environmental restrictions, now that healthy air quality has been achieved in the counties.

?The ball and chain is coming off, and Southeastern Indiana will be free to be a leader in the state?s economic comeback for growth and jobs,? said Daniels. ?My only regret is that the late Jim Bottorff, who worked so hard on this issue, is not with us today. I know how gratified he would be to finally see this happen.?

Indiana Department of Environmental Management Commissioner Thomas W. Easterly said his department?s environmental experts have demonstrated that removing the vehicle inspection and maintenance program will not cause Clark and Floyd counties to exceed health-based ozone standards. In accordance with state law, vehicle inspection and maintenance will continue in Clark and Floyd counties through December 31.

?The area has proven it can meet increasingly protective national air quality standards, and the communities deserve recognition of their hard work from the federal government,? Easterly said.

Restrictions on local businesses and the vehicle inspection and maintenance program have reduced ozone levels below the health-based standard, but not without economic costs. Local economic development officials tracked seven projects with investments of $230 million and employment of 2,000 people that located in other communities because of environmental restrictions in Clark and Floyd counties.

?Hoosiers have invested heavily in clean air and proved it through more than a decade of air quality and vehicle testing. It?s time to liberate the economy of Clark and Floyd counties from unwarranted testing and restraints,? said Easterly.

Easterly said his department is working with U.S. EPA technical staff to redesignate Clark and Floyd counties as attainment for ozone. Indiana?s petition will include a long-term maintenance plan that must be followed to ensure that the area continues to meet national standards for ground-level ozone in the years to come. The public will have opportunity to view and comment on the state?s plan before it is submitted to the EPA.

Though Clark and Floyd counties meet the national standards for ozone, carbon monoxide, lead, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, they do not yet meet the national standards for fine particles.


Additional media contact:
IDEM media contact: Robert Elstro, 317/232-8499;