October 1, 2023 11:19 pm

Local News

Driving Clean and Gaining Greens

Credit: iStock

Mohamed Bughrara

AB349, a bill which shut the “classic car loophole,” prior to the bill a loophole existed which permitted an increasing number of older, dirtier vehicles to avert polluted air inspections.

Clark and Washoe counties are now evaluating initiatives that would provide vehicle owners with vouchers to either repair cars that fail smog checks or enable them to purchase a newer, more efficient vehicle. 

Similar systems in nearby states help huge numbers of families with new cars providing repair vouchers worth up to $850 or down payment vouchers worth up to $9,500.

These initiatives have been working, with roughly 80% of vouchers redeemed and 98 percent of unregistered vehicles having completed needed maintenance and DMV registration after years of slipping through the cracks.

These modern cars will include several more affordable, fully electric models over the next handful of years, as Nevada’s Clean Car initiative goes into effect.

A curriculum like this could provide substantial benefits to Nevada residents’ air quality.

Las Vegas and Reno are considered among the top 25 ozone-polluting cities in the country, owing primarily to vehicle exhaust. Especially on hot days, cars, buses, and trucks continue to spew a thick layer of smog during rush hour, especially over Clark and Washoe Valley county.

According to the American Lung Association, more than 40% of Americans live in communities with poor air quality, but 94 percent of Nevadans—more than 2.8 million people—are currently affected by the state’s air conditions. Due to this, AB349 is crucial for preventing pollution from older, carbon-emitting vehicles.