Vehicle Emissions Inspection and Maintenance Program Is Behind Schedule

RCED-85-22: Published: Jan 16, 1985. Publicly Released: Feb 15, 1985.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) implementation of vehicle inspection and maintenance (I/M) programs to ensure attainment of national ambient air quality standards by 1987.

GAO found that the implementation of I/M programs continues to run behind the EPA schedule, largely because states have strongly opposed the programs and because EPA, desiring to work with the states, has given them more time to submit approvable programs. Further, many programs that have been implemented have experienced operational problems in the areas of quality control or enforcement. The scheduled program audits, if conducted, could help identify the overall operational problems and develop a strategy for dealing with them. However, EPA has not budgeted adequate resources to complete the scheduled audits of the remaining programs. GAO believes that these audits must be completed according to schedule to meet the 1987 deadline.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: EPA agrees with this recommendation and says it is presently on schedule to complete the audits in fiscal year 1986. In the recent GAO review and report on May 2, 1986, GAO found that the recommended audits were completed in April 1986.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, EPA, should reassess the priority given to completing scheduled audits of state I/M programs. The audits should be completed by the close of fiscal year 1986 so that states can benefit from any EPA recommendations before the 1987 deadline. If EPA is unable to complete the audits on schedule, it should immediately inform Congress of the delay, the reasons, and suggested solutions.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency


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