County Rejects Annual Smog Checks

Saying it would cost too much and provide little benefit, the county has declined to participate in a pilot state program that would have subjected the worst-polluting vehicles on the road to annual smog checks.

"If the state wants to do it, [it should] do it statewide," said Richard Baldwin, county air pollution control officer.

The state now mandates that vehicles undergo smog testing every two years.

With little discussion, the Air Pollution Control Board voted Tuesday against the program.

At the state's request, Ventura and San Diego were the only counties pondering whether to initiate annual smog testing. Both rejected it after studying the idea the past two years.

In essence, the program would have created a "smog index," derived from combining the miles a vehicle is driven annually with its age. Those deemed in the top 10% of polluters based on that equation would have been tabbed for the annual checks, Baldwin said.

"Conceptually, it's a good thing to do," Baldwin said. "The nuts and bolts drive you nuts."

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