U.S.

August 15, 2013

Servicemembers must follow local vehicle emissions standards

Benjamin Newell
Air Combat Command Public Affairs

LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va., – Airmen with vehicles registered out-of-state are still subject to local emissions standards, according to the 1990 Federal Clean Air Act Amendments.

Even with authorization to maintain out-of-state registration under the provisions of the Service members Civil Relief Act, local inspection and testing of a vehicle’s emissions system may be required in order to bring vehicles up to local clean air and smog check requirements. The law requires that all federal employees, including service members and civilians, who commute to federal installations 60 days or more per year must have their vehicle inspected and tested to local standards. Federal agencies are required to track employee vehicle compliance with local regulations.

“The biggest impact is probably on young Airmen,” said Darren Rector, Air Quality Manager at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. “They’re moving often, and they like to soupup their cars with add-on parts that may not be legal in different states.”

Beale was the first Air Combat Command Base to implement the program, though three other ACC Bases have already followed suite. Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C., will all soon implement the program.

ECARS has already been implemented at some ACC bases; once activated, it automatically emails federal employees to notify them of their duty to comply with local requirements. The email contains instructions on how to walk through the online wizard, which checks their emissions certification against local laws, which can vary widely from state to state and even county to county.

“Congress has waived sovereign immunity from clean air act regulations,” said Will Rottgering, a Northrop Grumman contractor facilitating the implementation of the AF vehicle inspection and maintenance program for the Air Force Civil Engineering Center in San Antonio. “The Air Force uses a system called ECARS [Employee-vehicle Certification and Reporting System] to comply with the record keeping requirement of section 118(d) of the Clean Air Act. ECARS allows employees to, in about three minutes, self-certify whether or not they have met the requirements of their local vehicle emissions testing program.”

Because the law is a federal statute, there is no way to reimburse Airmen for expenses incurred while becoming compliant, according to Air Force instruction. Punishments for not certifying vehicles to local emissions standards can include tickets, administrative action and revocation of driving privileges for civilians and Airmen.

“There are many locations which have exemptions for different types of cars, depending on their age and whether or not they are diesel, hybrid, or fall in to another specific category,” said Rottgering. “In order to avoid having to look all that up, ECARS does it automatically when service members enter their vehicle information.

Regardless of whether or not a vehicle is exempt, employees will still need to go into ECARS to complete the self-certification process. ECARS provides personnel the option to select from a list of valid exemptions for their area. If further action is required, the system will prompt employees to take to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I don’t think this requirement applies to my situation. Am I still required to access ECARS?

A: Yes. All federal employees (civilian and military) are required to complete the self-certification process in ECARS regardless of their situation. ECARS provides a wizard-like tool that will guide you through the process, which usually takes less than five minutes to complete.

Q: What if I don’t drive a vehicle onto the facility indicated by the email notice from ECARS?

A: You may still receive an email either because the Air Force Directory Services feed that ECARS uses for personnel rosters has inaccurate or imprecise data about your work location or because you simply don’t drive a personal vehicle onto the specified facility. In either case, you are still required to access ECARS and complete the self-certification process by simply answering “no” to the first question in the certification wizard.

Q: My vehicle is registered out of state or in some other area that does not require emissions testing. Do I need to access ECARS and complete the process?

A: Yes. Regardless of your commuting situation, you must access ECARS and complete the process. Vehicles driven onto a facility located within an area with a vehicle emissions program, 60 or more days per year are required to comply with local emissions testing requirements, regardless of their registration. Upon completing the self-certification process in ECARS, the system will prompt you to take further action if required.

Q: My vehicle was emissions tested in another locale. Will that test meet this emissions test requirement?

A: Maybe. ECARS will prompt you to specify the county/municipality that performed your emissions test. Based on your response, you will be directed to take further action if necessary.

Q: My vehicle is exempt from emissions testing. Do I need to complete this process?

A: Yes. ECARS will provide you the opportunity to select an exemption that is valid for this area. As long as your exemption is valid in the area wherein the base is located, no further action will be required.

Senior Airman Timothy Moore, 355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, contributed to this report.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

New school directory guides parents of special-needs kids

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — A permanent-change-of-station move prompts its own challenges, but family members with special-needs children face another complexity when looking for the right schools at their new home, a Defense Department official said here July 2. Ed Tyner, acting deputy director of DOD’s special needs program, told DoD News that service members and their...
 
 

Airmen encouraged to review vRED

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) – When Airmen go through major changes in their life, such as marriage, a permanent change of station, or having a child, one of the first things that should come to mind is, “I have to update my Virtual Record of Emergency Data,” or vRED. While this is not always the...
 
 

Base celebrates first LGBT Pride Month

Desert Lightning Team Members celebrated LGBT Pride Month for the first time this June. LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. “LGBT Pride Month is our time to bring awareness and to take pride and acceptance of one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity,” said Airman 1st Class Christiaan-Emil Guerra, 355th Component Maintenance Squadron electronic...
 

 

Obama: Investment in veterans produces tomorrow’s leaders

WASHINGTON — The promise of a better tomorrow made to U.S. military veterans of World War II seven decades ago with the signing of the original GI Bill is the same promise the nation is keeping with its newest veterans and their families through the Post-9/11 GI Bill, President Barack Obama said in an opinion...
 
 

Officials offer advice for peak moving season

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Help is available for service members, civilians and their families making a permanent-change-of-station move this summer, Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command officials here said. SDDC, a component of U.S. Transportation Command, provides global deployment and distribution services to meet the nation’s objectives and deploys or sustains about 90...
 
 

JBSA-Lackland temporarily housing immigrant minors

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas — The only sounds heard inside the Hackney Training Complex at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland eight months ago were usually the commands given by Military Training Instructors and the responses returned by trainees in Air Force Basic Military Training. There has been silence at the Recruit Housing and Training facility...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin