Heavy trucks registered in the Chicago area would have to undergo annual pollution tests under legislation that easily passed the Illinois House on Friday.
Truckers who fail the emissions test would be fined $400 for the first and second violations, and $1,000 if they flunk three times during a one-year period.
The measure now moves to the state Senate. Senate President James Philip says he favors the idea, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
The state already tests automobiles for emissions. Existing law requires trucks to meet emissions standards, but up to now, there has been no way to enforce the law.
The measure, which the trucking industry opposes, also gives the Illinois State Police the authority to do spot-checks on trucks driving through the Chicago and East St. Louis areas.
Frank Serpe, executive director of the Illinois Transportation Assn., told the Chicago Sun-Times the bill is unnecessarily burdensome, since engines built after 1991 already meet tough federal emissions standards. He reportedly suggested to the bill’s sponsor that the law only apply to older trucks, which he estimates make up only 2% of Illinois’ trucking fleet.