How Did Emissions Testing Begin?

Regulations on automobile emissions first began in Los Angeles, California in the 1960s.  Los Angeles was and still is the second largest city in the United States but is the largest U.S city to rely primarily on automobiles for transportation (New York City is the largest city in the U.S. but relies primarily on public transportation).  

Automobile emissions regulations began in response to the increase in smog in urban areas like Los Angeles.  The term “smog” is a contraction of the words “smoke” and “fog” and is used to refer to air pollution that reduces visibility.  Hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxide, and carbon monoxide are a few of the gases emitted from automobiles that contribute to air pollution and smog.

In response to growing research on the dangers air pollution and the contribution of automobile emissions to air pollution, Congress gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate automobile and industrial emissions which led to the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970 establishing standards for permissible automobile emission levels.

Despite regulation and the widescale improvement of automobile and industrial emissions, it is still estimated that 40% of Americans live in areas with dangerous levels of air pollution.  Smog and other air pollution from automobile and industrial emissions results in the deaths of approximately 100,000 Americans each year from lung cancer, stroke, heart disease, and a variety of chronic respiratory illnesses.

At Wilton Auto and Tire Center, we are proud be doing our part to help reduce air pollution by serving as a designated Connecticut Emissions Testing Center and a Certified Emissions Repair Facility.

Written by Wilton Auto & Tire Center