RICHMOND, Va.-Virginia will avoid Environmental Protection Agency sanctions by complying with the agency's demand to devise a new method of testing vehicle emissions, the state transportation secretary said. Robert Martinez said Virginia will do whatever it takes to avoid a shutdown of future northern Virginia road projects, including $132 million in road improvements for the planned Disney's America theme park in Prince William County.
In late May the EPA threatened to halt the planned projects if the state doesn't submit a suitable emissions test plan in 30 days.
Mr. Martinez said the state will avoid federal punishment even if it means capitulating to the EPA's demand to use a different car-testing method.
Currently, local garages do emissions tests and the needed repairs. But the EPA ordered that testing be done at one site and repairs at another. It said test-and-repair programs at local garages aren't as effective in cutting air pollution because some mechanics overlook pollution problems to keep regular customers happy.