In Weld’s cover story for July 12, the Weld staff mentioned the serious, continuing problem the Birmingham metro area has with air quality, both in terms of particle pollution and ozone, a substance that forms when pollutants from vehicles and other sources cook in the hot summer sun.
This uptick in the pollution problem in the summer, and the negative health consequences that come with it – especially for the elderly and those suffering from respiratory problems – provides a damned good reason for area residents to have the emissions on their vehicles checked.
You don’t want to spend the money to do so, you say?
The good news is that you don’t have to, because there is an ongoing free emissions testing program available locally courtesy of Alabama Partners for Clean Air (APCA).
The APCA is an affiliation of public, private and nonprofit organizations working to implement voluntary strategies that improve air quality in Jefferson and Shelby counties.
The goals of the APCA are to achieve and maintain compliance with national air quality standards, to protect and improve public health, to minimize the economic impacts on existing businesses and to maximize the potential for economic growth.
The APCA provides quick, free emissions checks for vehicle owners and, in some cases, assists owners of high emitters to have their vehicles serviced and the emissions from the vehicle reduced.
Qualified repairs under the test program are determined by the emissions test (you can find more information on the APCA web site).
The APCA Car Care Program 80 percent of the qualified repairs on a vehicle, up to a maximum of $500, according to their web site. Examples of qualified repairs under this program include, but are not limited to, oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, diagnostics or other repairs deemed necessary by testing officials.
Vehicles that are more than 10 years old and vehicles that are currently under manufacturer’s warranty or other extended warranties are not covered under this program. The replacement of mufflers is also not covered.
The following is a list of upcoming opportunities to take advantage of this free program and to make your car less of a polluter.
Remember that vehicles must be driven at least 10 minutes prior to the test in order to get accurate results, since cold vehicle engines will not give accurate readings.
Each testing sessions listed is held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. All emissions testing locations are subject to change due to weather conditions or other unforeseen circumstances.
July 18 — Express Oil Change – downtown Birmingham
July 19 — Texaco XpressLube – Hueytown
July 20 — Texaco XpressLube – Alabaster
July 24 — Express Oil Change – Trussville
July 25 — Express Oil Change – McCalla
July 26 — Express Oil Change – Bessemer
July 27 — Express Oil Change – Tarrant
July 31 — Express Oil Change – Eastwood area
The Waste Reduction and Technology Transfer Foundation is the lead partner in this program. For all the details, visit http://alabamacleanair.org.
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