eMission control – Focus: Vehicle air impact fees

360px-CBX_Parkchester_6_jeh[1]Over the course of much of my life I have owned many motor vehicles. In total, the motor vehicles I have owned generally have become cleaner-burning over time.

The way I see it, by my adhering to such a practice, fewer and fewer toxic emissions are being released into the air. I, for one, see this as a good thing. All of which prompts me to ask: Shouldn’t following such a practice be encouraged?

As it stands, unless exempted or sidelined for non-operation, California motor vehicle registrations must be renewed once a year. There is a fee attached to registration renewal and included in that is the “County/District Fee.”

At any rate, I would assume this is an air impact fee. And, presumably, the monies collected for such go toward air quality improvement efforts or programs in the county or district in which the vehicle is registered. It’s either this or fees go toward roadway maintenance and improvement, or it’s perhaps both.

Moreover, every two years registered vehicles in state must be smog certified, unless exempted here too. For internal-combustion-engine-powered motor vehicles, in order for such to be declared certified, released emissions must fall within specifications. That is par for the course.

So, what if, depending on how much driving is done and/or how much said vehicle is polluting, an air impact fee is charged based on that? The more a vehicle pollutes, the higher the charge and vice versa.

To be able to assess such would no doubt require some sort of emissions-monitoring feature. Motor vehicles already have onboard computers. So, suppose, for example, a vehicle’s onboard computer could record pollutant type and pollutant amount being discharged into the air.

Assuming that database data is kept on each registered vehicle, over time, if emissions released become lower and lower then perhaps some type of incentive apparatus could be put in place; something on the order of a lower motor vehicle registration fee sounds good to me.

A bad idea? I don’t think so.

Hydrogen vehicle
Hydrogen vehicle

– Alan Kandel

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