Air Pollution:

EPA's Actions to Ensure Vehicle Compliance With Emission Standards

RCED-92-94BR: Published: Jan 13, 1992. Publicly Released: Mar 4, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) response to the recommendations made in a previous GAO report regarding the effectiveness of the EPA motor vehicle testing program.

GAO found that: (1) EPA indicated overall agreement with the GAO recommendations; (2) the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 addressed some of the recommendations, by requiring states with enhanced inspection/maintenance programs to assess and report program effectiveness to EPA every 2 years and requiring EPA to issue guidance on recall requirements within one year; (3) EPA has proposed actions to include the use of actual data from in-use vehicles to determine emissions systems' deterioration rates, but EPA will need time to study alternative procedures and automobile manufacturers will need sufficient lead time to prepare for changes in the certification process; (4) EPA plans to allocate $140,000 to test in-use vehicles during the current program year, to increase the number of engine families tested, and test a sample of vehicles from the vehicle population for which it has little or no direct knowledge of the level of compliance; (5) EPA is preparing detailed guidance on recall requirements as part of the inspection/maintenance programs for states with enhanced nonattainment areas; and (6) EPA now requires all states with inspection/maintenance programs to report operating data annually.

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