The fate of emissions testing in the Chicago and East St. Louis areas is in the hands of Illinois Gov. George Ryan.
A bill passed last week by the state Legislature would require emissions testing of large trucks in high-pollution areas, including Chicago and areas near St. Louis. Trucks weighing more than 16,000 pounds would be affected.
Standards for truck emissions testing have been in place for seven years, but the state Pollution Control Board did not have the authority to enforce them. Cars and light trucks are already required to undergo testing.
Although Ryan has spoken favorably about emissions testing, a spokesman for his office told RoadStar Radio News that Ryan has not yet taken an official position on whether or not he will sign the measure.
The state's trucking industry has lobbied against the bill. 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.