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House bill to remove emissions testing programs gets first-round approval

May 4, 2004
By: Cliff Judy
State Capital Bureau

A spokesperson from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says millions of dollars in St. Louis' federal highway funding could be in danger after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to a bill to repeal emissions testing programs. Cliff Judy has more from the state Capitol.

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Representative Jim Lembke, the bill's sponsor, says Missouri wouldn't face federal funding cuts until 2010, and therefore, is not a real threat.

But Connie Patterson, a spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources, says calling the potential cuts an idle threat is wrong.

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Contents: Patterson says, "That is not the case. We've certainly seen situations where metropolitan areas have had highway funds withheld. I think the most recent example is Atlanta, Georgia, recently lost some highway funding. So that is not an idle threat, it is out there."

The House gave first-round approval to the bill on Monday by a slim vote and faces one more vote before being sent to the Senate. DNR director Stephen Mahfood was unavailable for comment. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.

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The director of the Air Pollution Control Program for Missouri says St. Louis federal highway funding could be in jeopardy after the Missouri House gave first-round approval to a bill to repeal emissions testing programs. Cliff Judy is in Jefferson City with the story.

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Leanne Pippett says if the bill passes, it would take a significant effort for the Department of Natural Resources to find alternative pollutant-reducing strategies.

Pippett, the director of the Air Pollution Control Program, says DNR would have to reach an agreement with the EPA to protect federal funding.

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Contents: Pippett says, "If we're unable to come up with an approvable plan, then that does put highway funding in jeopardy."

The House gave first-round approval to the bill on a slim vote and will face one more before going to the Senate. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.

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The Missouri House sponsor of a bill to remove emissions tests denies Department of Natural Resources claims that his bill could put millions of dollars in St. Louis federal highway funding in jeopardy. Cliff Judy has more from the state Capitol.

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Spokespeople from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources say the bill could put federal funds earmarked for St. Louis highways at risk.

But Jim Lembke, the bill's sponsor, claims any potential funding cuts due to pollutant levels are not only far in the future, but could be prevented.

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Contents: Lembke says, "We have three years to put together a new plan, and we have until 2010 to get back into compliance, so I don't believe we're at any risk of losing any highway funds until 2010."

The House gave first-round approval to the bill on Monday by a slim margin of seven votes. The bill will face one more vote before being sent to the Senate. From the state Capitol, I'm Cliff Judy.