Assessment of Public Comments
NYSIP-NYMA Enhanced I/M Program - Proposed Revision, March 2009 - Comments Received from May 13, 2009 through May 20, 2009
1. Comment #1: EPA's draft MOVES2009 emissions model will offer significantly less credit to OBD-based I/M programs when compared to EPA's current MOBILE6 model. This will result in I/M programs receiving roughly 20-70% less SIP credit because data indicates that I/M is not as important in obtaining OBD related repairs. The resulting impact is that the proposed increased waivers and a robust OBD only program may not lead to the reductions estimated by the proposed I/M SIP revision.
Response to Comment #1: Based on its ozone nonattainment status, the NYMA must comply with EPA's high enhanced Inspection/Maintenance (I/M) performance standard. This standard is defined under 40 CFR Part 51.351(f), where, "... enhanced I/M programs shall be designed to meet or exceed a minimum performance standard ... achieved from highway mobile sources as a result of the program. The emissions levels achieved by the State's program design shall be calculated using the most current version, at the time of submittal of the EPA mobile source emission factor model ..., and shall meet the minimum performance standard both in operation and SIP approval." The current EPA model is MOBILE6, and MOBILE6 was used for the required high enhanced I/M performance standard demonstration (proposed SIP revision, Section 3.B).
It is the Department's understanding that the MOVES model (when final) will most likely provide less overall I/M emissions credit for NYMA. Note that the high enhanced I/M performance standard demonstration involves a comparison between a state's I/M program or design (in this case) with EPA's "model" I/M program. As such, when the MOVES model is approved, it will impact both NYMA I/M and EPA's high enhanced model program. The actual difference between MOBILE6 and the final version of MOVES is speculative, and the wide range offered by the Commenter reflects this uncertainty.
In summary, the Department's proposed SIP revision uses the current EPA approved mobile source emissions factor model.
2. Comment #2: Emissions from testing and repairing older models are many times greater per vehicle than those obtainable from OBD models. The Commenter referenced studies completed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Pacific Vehicle Testing Technologies' Air Care. The Commenter noted that the testing of older vehicles is significant and should not be overlooked.
Response to Comment #2: Older, pre-OBD II vehicles were designed and manufactured to less stringent vehicle certification standards than light-duty MY 1996 and newer vehicles. On average, older vehicles have greater mileage and have been subjected to a longer in-use deterioration period.
Older vehicles are, however, driven significantly less per year than newer vehicles. Older vehicles are also retired from in-use service at a greater rate.
The Department's evaluation (Section 3) as to whether NYTEST is needed was based on EPA's approved emissions model (MOBILE6). MOBILE6 considers the age-based factors offered by the Commenter and as noted within his referenced reports.
3. Comment #3: The historic fleet attrition will most likely slow. Over the last year, new vehicle sales have plunged with no immediate trend reversal in sight. The ripple effect is that a number of older vehicles will remain on the road longer than previously expected. Accordingly, the assumed benefits from fleet retirement may be delayed.
Response to Comment #3: The proposed I/M SIP revision (Table 1, p. 4) includes estimated, future NYTEST inspection volumes based on registration data. Using this registration data and actual NYTEST inspection volumes, the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Motor Vehicles estimate that the NYTEST inspection volume will decrease annually by 20%. The last year that actual registration data was used within the proposed SIP revision (to determine the 20% reduction) was 2007. The corresponding NYTEST inspection volumes for CY 2008 and 2009 were estimated at 712,485 and 569,988 vehicles, respectively.
In response to this comment, the Departments completed a review of NYMA registration data for 2008 and 2009. The results are included Table 1-A below:
March 2009 SIP
The review of the May 2009 registration analysis found that 606,278 vehicles registered within NYMA will be subject to NYTEST emission testing this year. This represents a 17.5% annual reduction - applied over 2 years - from the 2007 registration count. The Department maintains that the estimated 20% annual reduction in NYTEST inspection volume is a valid approximation.
The Commenter offers the possibility that older NYTEST applicable vehicles will remain on the road longer as a result of decreased new vehicle sales. The Department believes the inspection volume estimates developed for the use in the SIP revision are valid for purposes of this SIP revision for several reasons:
- The Department has confirmed that the estimated NYTEST volumes are valid for CYs 2008 and 2009. A significant reduction in older vehicle 'turn-over' has not been encountered.
- New York State's motor vehicle inspection regulation provides for a rolling 25-MY emission testing exemption. This emissions exemption existed prior to the implementation of the NYTEST program (1998) and significantly impacts the NYTEST inspection volume. The 25-MY exemption is not affected by economic influences.
- The majority of the NYTEST applicable vehicles receive a NYTEST transient test. When NYTEST was implemented in 1998, 23 light-duty model years (MYs 1974-1996) were applicable to mandatory NYTEST inspections. When mandatory OBD II inspections commenced through NYVIP in May 2005, 15 light-duty model years (MYs 1981-1995) were subject to NYTEST transient testing. With consideration of the proposed NYTEST end date, only 10 light-duty model years (1986-1995) would be subject to NYTEST transient testing in CY 2010.
- Studies have shown a decrease in vehicles miles traveled (VMT) for all model years during challenging economic times. The recent New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) report, "Historical Travel Trends in New York State (May 2009)" cites a 3.3% decrease in the New York State VMT from 2006 to 2007. This report can be found at: https://www.dot.ny.gov/divisions/policy-and-strategy/darb/dai-unit/ttss/repository/Trends.pdf. Note also: http://www.transportgooru.com/?p=2333
4. Comment #4: Recognizing that the NYTEST equipment is reaching its useful life, the Commenter proposes a two-speed idle test upgrade to the existing NYTEST platform. He notes that this approach is similar to revised I/M programs in Massachusetts and New Jersey. This alternative would allow for the removal of the existing NYTEST dynamometer and VMAS unit, and would cost stations approximately $15,000.
Response to Comment #4: The proposed alternative is not necessary for NYMA to comply with the high enhanced I/M performance standard. The proposed SIP revision included a MOBILE6 modeling evaluation that demonstrates a NYVIP-only I/M program after December 31, 2010 will comply with the applicable federal I/M requirements. The Department did not choose the Commenter's proposed option as NYMA inspection stations would incur an estimated $15,000 in equipment upgrades for a program when the predicted inspection volume will decrease annually by approximately 20%.
The Department notes that Massachusetts' revised I/M program does not include an idle testing requirement.
5. Comment #5: The Commenter expresses similar concerns as Comment #3 as related to the decline of new vehicle sales. The Department should consider recent turnover assumptions into its estimated VOC and NOx emission estimates.
Response to Comment #5: Please note the Department's response to Comment #3. The Commenter states that it is unclear how the recent decline in new vehicle sales will translate to reduced turnover of NYTEST applicable vehicles (i.e., generally light-duty, non-diesel vehicles, MYs 1985-1995 in CY 2009). The Commenter did not offer an alternate method to estimate future NYTEST volumes. New York has validated the estimated CY 2009 NYTEST test volume (Table 1-A), and does not believe a revision is warranted.
6. Comment #6: The Commenter suggests that the Department consider using the Draft version of the MOVES model to determine performance standard and emission reduction estimates as the result of removing the NYTEST inspection requirements. EPA intends to release the final version of the MOVES model by the end of the year. Potentially, there could be differences between MOBILE6 and MOVES estimates leading to unanticipated revisions to New York's future I/M program(s). New York could also experience issues or problems with the draft MOVES model, and these could be resolved prior to the final release.
Response to Comment #6: Note the Department's response to Comment #1. At this time, the draft MOVES is not ready for use as a regulatory model. Using the draft MOVES model now would lead to uncertainty, confusion, and possibly incorrect findings. The Department is an active participant on the FACA and EPA MOVES groups, and staff is currently testing the beta version of MOVES. The Department is on the record requesting that the MOVES model should be capable of determining OBD II-based I/M emission reduction credit for additional fuel types and weight classes (i.e., light-duty diesel, medium duty vehicles).
7. Comment #7: The Commenter noted that the NYMA attainment demonstration SIP for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS submitted to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval included a voluntary reclassification request to a higher classification ("bump-up") with a new attainment deadline of 2012. The Commenter also noted that EPA has yet to take formal action on the SIP or the "bump-up" request because of the lack of certain technical information. Essentially, EPA is claiming that it has been unable to determine whether the SIP includes sufficient NOx and VOC emission reductions necessary for the NYMA to attain by 2012 and is concerned that the Department has moved to remove the NYTEST tailpipe test without having evaluated whether sufficient emission reductions will occur in for the area to come into attainment by the required year.
In addition, the Commenter is concerned that the Department's analysis of the Clean Air Act Section 110(l) "anti-backsliding" provisions is based on having adopted the following control measures: Adhesives and Sealants, Consumer Products, Asphalt Paving and CAIR NOx Ozone Season Trading Program. To date New York has only adopted the CAIR program and has not proposed or adopted the other three measures. If New York finalizes this proposal and submits as a SIP revision, the Commenter is concerned that EPA cannot approve this SIP revision without sufficient emission reductions in place to substitute for the removal of the NYTEST tailpipe test.
Response to Comment #7: The Department acknowledges that it has submitted an attainment demonstration SIP for the NYMA which included a Clean Air Act Section 181(b)(3) voluntary request to reclassify the designation from moderate to serious ozone nonattainment. According to Section 181(b)(3), EPA "shall grant the request of any State to reclassify a nonattainment area ... to a higher classification." As such, whether sufficient emission reductions are included in the SIP is a wholly separate issue from the reclassification request and is not relevant to this SIP revision. The Department, therefore, awaits EPA's action in relation to the "bump up" request and urges it to complete its statutory obligation.
On the issue of the evaluation of the removal of the NYTEST requirements, the Department clearly states on page 15 of the Proposed Revision to the New York State Implementation Plan for the New York Metropolitan Area Enhanced Inspection and Maintenance Program (I/M SIP) that:
"On February 8, 2008, the Department submitted an eight-hour ozone NAAQS attainment demonstration SIP revision for NYMA. The projection inventories in the eight-hour ozone attainment demonstration account for the end of tailpipe emissions inspections (NYTEST) on December 31, 2010, and the beginning of the NYVIP only I/M program beginning on January 1, 2011. Therefore, there is no loss in emission reductions in the eight-hour ozone SIP related to the end of the tailpipe emissions inspections, since the enhanced I/M program modeling assumptions are the same for this I/M SIP revision and the NYMA eight-hour ozone attainment demonstration SIP revision."
In other words, when the Department performed the MOBILE6 modeling for future year emissions for the attainment demonstration SIP, it included the removal of the NYTEST requirements on December 31, 2010 in its emissions projections. Therefore, any concern that the "loss" of emissions reductions will negatively impact the ability of the Department to attain the ozone NAAQS by 2013 are unfounded as the removal of NYTEST is accounted for in the projection emissions in the attainment SIP.
In fact, the only metrics of concern related to loss of emission reductions from the removal of the NYTEST program are the 0.02 grams per mile emission level margin provided under 40 CFR Part 51.351(f)(13) and "anti-backsliding" provisions of Clean Air Act Section 110(l). Table 5 on page 14 of the I/M SIP clearly shows that the removal of the NYTEST program starting in 2011 is within the parameters of 40 CFR Part 51.351(f)(13).
The Department discusses the "anti-backsliding" provisions within Section C., Rate of Progress/Reasonable Further Progress Demonstration, of the I/M SIP. Since the NYTEST program is part of the one-hour ozone SIP for the NYMA and the area has not yet come into attainment with former one-hour ozone NAAQS, the Department must, in accordance with Clean Air Act Section 181(b)(4), continue to meet the reasonable further progress requirements of Clean Air Act Section 182(b)(1). In other words, the Department needs to "make up" for the decrease in projected emission reductions that will occur as a result of the removal of the NYTEST program through the application of programs not already included in the one-hour ozone SIP. The Department noted it had or was planning to adopt revisions to its regulations (6NYCRR Parts 228, 235, 241 and 243) that would more than make up this difference. In fact, it has already adopted 6NYCRR Part 243, CAIR NOx Ozone Season Trading Program, but as noted in the comment it had not at the time of these comments proposed revisions to Part 228, Surface Coating Processes, Part 235, Consumer Products or Part 241, Asphalt Paving.
The Department notes that since the termination of NYTEST I/M was included within the NYMA attainment demonstration for the 1997 eight-hour ozone NAAQS, anti-backsliding provisions do not apply.
The Department sent a new schedule for the adoption of these regulations to Mr. George Pavlou, Acting Regional Director, US EPA-Region 2, on June 23, 2009 that commits to adopting all of these regulations by February 2010. The proposal for Part 235 was published in the State Register on June 17, 2009 and public hearings are scheduled for July 20, 21 and 22. It should be noted that to prevent 'backsliding' the Department will need to "make up" 5.07 tons of VOC and 3.39 tons of NOx per day (see Table 6 on page 15 of the I/M SIP). As part of the NYMA ozone attainment demonstration SIP, the Department has estimated the emission reductions that will result from each of these control measures. The expected reductions in 2011 are as follows:
|228, 235||Adhesives and Sealants||VOC||6.08|
As a result of this analysis, it can be seen that the adoption of either the Consumer Products or Adhesives and Sealants provisions are all that is needed to prevent 'backsliding' under the one-hour ozone SIP, and the adopted CAIR provisions alone make up the necessary NOx reductions.
8. Comment #8: The Commenter requested that a table be included within the SIP revision to identify the actual waiver rates within NYMA for the past couple years.
Response to Comment #8: The Department is required by Subpart 51.366 to report the NYMA and Upstate I/M program waiver rates to EPA. The last annual report, "New York State Enhanced Motor Vehicle Inspection/Maintenance Program - 2007 Annual Report," was submitted in July 2008.
Note that the proposed SIP revision was based on information available at the time. The requested updated information is provided below, but the Department does not believe a modification to the SIP revision is warranted.
- For Calendar Year 2007, the combined (NYVIP/NYTEST) NYMA waiver rate was 3.1%.
- For Calendar Year 2008, the combined NYMA waiver rate was 1.8%.
- From January to May 2009, the combined NYMA waiver rate was 1.5%.
The NYMA waiver rate, by month, from January 2007 to May 2009 is shown in Figure 1 below.
FIGURE 1 : NYMA WAIVER RATE (COMBINED NYTEST/NYVIP)
The Department has provided actual I/M data that confirms the proposed NYMA waiver rate (2%) was achieved in Calendar Year 2008 and for Calendar Year 2009-to-date.
9. Comment #9: The Commenter noted that the demand for NYTEST inspections has steadily and continuously declined, and the program imposes an enormous financial burden on inspection stations. Based on NYTEST equipment maintenance costs alone, the program was not justified 2 years ago. NYTEST inspection stations are at a competitive disadvantage to similar New York State businesses in adjoining areas outside NYMA. The Commenter urges that the Department end the NYTEST program as soon as possible, but in general, supports the proposed December 31, 2010 end date.
Response to Comment #9: The Department agrees that NYMA inspection stations have been facing a declining NYTEST inspection volume and experienced increased NYTEST repair and maintenance costs over time. The Department's proposed end date of December 31, 2010 is the earliest date that the NYTEST I/M program can end when considering the MOBILE6 modeling demonstration and the ability to transition into a NYVIP-only program (i.e., beginning on January 1, 2011).
10. Comment #10: The Commenter believes that proposed state and federal legislation for "Cash-for-Clunkers" programs may provide financial incentives for motorists to trade-in older vehicles. The passage of such legislation will likely spur the replacement of older NYTEST-applicable vehicles at a much faster rate than the Department's projections.
Response to Comment#10: Please note the Department's response to Comment #3. The Department is not able to accurately estimate the effect of the legislation within the modeling demonstration.
11. Comment #11: It appears that the proposed revisions to the NYTEST and NYVIP programs eases testing for medium-and heavy-duty vehicles without significantly changing the inspection procedure for automobiles. The procedures also seem to be relaxed for vehicles older than 25 years of age.
Response to Comment #11: Portions of this Comment are factually incorrect.
The NYTEST equipment performs idle emissions testing on most non-diesel vehicles > 8,500 lbs. registered within NYMA. The Commenter is correct in that these vehicles will no longer be subject to tailpipe-based emissions testing when the NYTEST program ends.
The NYTEST equipment also allows for transient emissions testing of most non-diesel light-duty vehicles between 24 MYs old and MY 1995, inclusive. For example, during calendar year 2009, light-duty vehicles MYs 1985 to 1995, will be inspected through NYTEST. Under the proposal SIP revision, these light-duty vehicles would still be subject to visual emissions control device (ECD) checks, but would be exempt from tailpipe emissions testing requirements when the NYTEST program ends.
New York State Motor Vehicle Inspection regulation under 15 NYCRR Part 79 exempt vehicles that are 25 MYs old and older from NYTEST inspection requirements. These vehicles are presently exempt from emissions testing.
12. Comment #12: The proposed SIP revision expresses DEC's intention to use the new EPA-issued MOBILE6 rather than the MOBILE5 model. As part of this changeover, the State will end tailpipe testing. Instead, New York will rely on remote sensing data to determine emissions decrease and a single-provider system to test for vehicle emissions. Although these measures may expedite the vehicle emissions testing, the proposal lacks any discussion of the validation required to determine the accuracy of the MOBILE6 model and the sensing equipment.
Response to Comment #12: The Department's proposed action to end the NYTEST I/M program on December 31, 2010, requires a revision to the approved NYMA I/M SIP. EPA's current regulatory model, MOBILE6, must be used to evaluate the proposal. MOBILE6 is not new, and the Department does not have the discretion to choose which model it can use. MOBILE5 was used in the original 1998 enhanced I/M SIP revision, but was updated/replaced by EPA to MOBILE6 in 2002.
The Department has not proposed to rely on remote sensing data to determine (or achieve) emissions reductions. Rather, the Department conducted a multi-year MOBILE6 demonstration, and the proposed NYTEST end date of December 31, 2010 was based on this evaluation. The Department is not required to validate MOBILE6, as this model is EPA's current, approved mobile source emission factor model.
13. Comment #13: The Commenter supports the proposed decrease in the number of waivers, but would like to see a commitment from the State to progressively decrease the number of waivers to the point of eventually eliminating all waivers. The elimination of waivers would ensure that motorists either obtain the necessary repairs to pass an inspection or discard those vehicles that cannot be repaired.
Response to Comment #13: Please note Figure 1 above which displays the actual NYMA waiver rate, by month, since 2007. In practice, the waiver rate has progressively decreased as suggested. Waivers provide an economic buffer for motorists that have attempted to comply with the emissions testing requirements. These motorists have already completed costly repairs to failing vehicles, but are still faced with additional repairs. Waivers are authorized with a 1-year duration and have been available since the beginning of both the NYTEST and NYVIP I/M programs. Waivers are also allowed by the federal I/M regulation.
14. Comment #14: The proposed SIP revision suggests that no loss in emission reductions as the result of ending tailpipe testing. One reason offered is that there will be an annual retirement of generally pre-1995 model years. Older vehicles could, however, be imported into New York State especially during hard economic times, such as what we're experiencing now. The assumption that the State can offset the loss of NYTEST emission reduction through other actions related to newer vehicles is not borne out by the State's research.
Response to Comment #14. Each year, the amount of available NYTEST tailpipe-based I/M benefit diminishes as there are fewer NYTEST applicable vehicles. See the Department's response to a similar statement made within Comment #3.
The Department recognizes that ending the NYTEST I/M program will result in a short term loss of available I/M benefit. The multi-year modeling demonstration was completed to determine at what date NYTEST could end with NYMA meeting the most stringent federal I/M performance standard through NYVIP-only I/M. The Department has committed to "make up" the "loss" of emission reductions related to the termination of the NYTEST I/M program with respect to the one-hour ozone attainment demonstration SIP. It has accounted for the termination of the program in 2011 in its assumptions for future year programs in the 1997 eight-hour ozone attainment demonstration SIP. For further discussion on this topic, please refer to the Response to Comment #7.
The Department notes that tailpipe testing has not been required within the 53-county 'Upstate' I/M area and that additional I/M programs adjacent to NYMA (Massachusetts, New Jersey) have either completed, or are proposing, major revisions to their tailpipe testing programs. As such, NYMA will not become a preferred location for older vehicles when NYTEST ends. The Department monitors the effect of vehicle registrations as part of its program evaluation and annual reporting processes and will continue to do so.
As stated in other responses, the Department is required by federal statute and regulation to use EPA's approved mobile source model when proposing I/M revisions, and the current version is MOBILE6. The Department has not proposed to use its own research as a substitute for MOBILE6.
Comment #15: The Commenter stated his strong disapproval of the design, implementation, support, and fee structure associated with the NYTEST program. He questioned the effectiveness of the NYTEST program and requested that a fee increase be considered for NYMA inspection stations.
Response to Comment #15: The Department notes the issues raised by the Commenter. The Department has submitted annual reports to the EPA that outline NYTEST failure rates and pre- and post-repair estimated emission reductions. These reports can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8391.html
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles regulates inspection fees, but DEC notes that a higher emissions inspection fee ($27) has been in place for NYMA compared to the 53-county Upstate I/M area ($11) since December 2004.
Comment #16: The Commenter noted that he resides in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood. He offered his support for the reduction of NYMA based emissions testing waivers as noted by the proposed SIP revision. He also expressed concern over particulate matter pollution which is the leading cause of asthma in Manhattan. He noted that Hell's Kitchen experiences significant interstate travel, especially charter buses, in route from New Jersey to Connecticut. He expressed his praise for DEC's efforts related to on-road enforcement within the last year, and he hopes more can be done.
Response to Comment #16: The Department acknowledges the Commenter's support.
1. Written comments dated May 15, 2009: Carl H. Nord, Sr. Vice President Sales & Service, Environmental Systems Products, 7 Kripes Road, East Granby, CT 060626-9720
2. Written comments dated May 15, 2009: Carl H. Nord, Sr. Vice President Sales & Service, Environmental Systems Products, 7 Kripes Road, East Granby, CT 060626-9720
3. Written comments dated May 15, 2009: Carl H. Nord, Sr. Vice President Sales & Service, Environmental Systems Products, 7 Kripes Road, East Granby, CT 060626-9720
4. Written comments dated May 15, 2009: Carl H. Nord, Sr. Vice President Sales & Service, Environmental Systems Products, 7 Kripes Road, East Granby, CT 060626-9720
5. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Raymond Werner, Chief, Air Programs Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
6. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Raymond Werner, Chief, Air Programs Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
7. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Raymond Werner, Chief, Air Programs Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
8. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Raymond Werner, Chief, Air Programs Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2, 290 Broadway, New York, New York 10007-1866
9. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Stuart A. Rosenthal, Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Operations, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, 18-10 Whitestone Expressway, New York 11357
10. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Stuart A. Rosenthal, Vice-President, Legal Affairs and Operations, Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, 18-10 Whitestone Expressway, New York 11357
11. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Anhthu Hoang, General Counsel, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 271 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.
12. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Anhthu Hoang, General Counsel, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 271 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.
13. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Anhthu Hoang, General Counsel, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 271 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.
14. Written comments dated May 20, 2009: Anhthu Hoang, General Counsel, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, 271 West 125th Street, New York, NY 10027.
15. Written comments dated May 18, 2009: Ralph Bombardiere, New York State Association of Service Stations & Repair Shops by e-mail.
16. Statements made during the May 13, 2009, Legislative Hearing, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 11-15 47th Avenue, Hearing Room 106, Long Island City, NY: Martin Treat, Clinton House Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety.