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State begins program to replace old polluting cars

HARRIS COUNTY– The State of Texas has introduced a new program to replace older vehicles. The program LIRAP will reduce the number of vehicles contributing to air pollution in counties that are not meeting the Federal clean air standards.
“The main goal of the program will be to provide financial incentives torepair or replace older, polluting automobiles with newer automobilesthat have a lower level of emissions,” said Rep. Kevin Bailey. “The Legislature appropriated funding in the last legislative session to help accelerate the replacement of the older, dirtier vehicles that are major contributors to air pollution. New light duty vehicles operate over 98% cleaner than the average car or truck built prior to 1991. The older vehicles that are failing to meet emission standards need to be replaced.”
According to the state, the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Galveston-Brazoria areas of the State of Texas do not currently meet air quality standards for ozone, and the largest contributor to the formation of ozone in these two regions are mobile resources, such as personal automobiles and diesel engines found in construction equipment.
Because federal law precludes state regulation of emissions from these sources, the State of Texas has developed the Low-Income Vehicle Repair Assistance, Retrofit, and Accelerated Vehicle Retirement Program (LIRAP), aimed at reducing these emissions. Another state program will be designed to affect diesel engines, while LIRAP is intended to lessen emissions from personal automobiles. Currently, Texas does not meet federal air quality standards effective in 2010.
“Guidelines for the new program will be released after the first of the year,” said . Bailey. “Eligibility will be limited to older vehicles registered in counties that are currently having trouble complying with the federal air quality standards. The vehicle must have been registered in the county for at least the past 12 months.”
If you would like additional information on the program, contact the office of State Representative Kevin Bailey at 281-847-9000.
–Article by Arlene Nichols