Emissions by: Tony Smith Jr.


Driving a car is a huge responsibility, especially when you have to take a annual test to see if your car healthy enough to get back on the road. out of 50 states in the United states, 32 require emissions testing. Georgia is one of those states who try to help and protect the air in Georgia cleaner as many pollutants have been eliminated due to emissions testing.


Emissions testing was the result of decades of research into the dangers of vehicle emissions and the struggle to create public awareness about it. The first studies on how motor vehicles contribute to the environment were done during the 1950’s. by the 1960’s, many car manufactures had already begun to self- regulate the emissions on their vehicles. The first emissions tasking was done in California in the 1960’s. By 1967 the state of California Air Resource Board. Established by Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford-Carrell act, combining the Bureau of Air sanitation and the motor vehicle pollution control board.

Georgia's Emissions

The state of Georgia started their emissions program in 1996. Emissions testing is required annually in 13 metro Atlanta counties in order to complete their vehicle registration.

Emission Counties
  1. Cherokee
  2. Clayton
  3. Cobb
  4. Coweta
  5. Dekalb
  6. Douglas
  7. Fayette
  8. Forsyth
  9. Fulton
  10. Gwinnett
  11. Henry
  12. Paulding
  13. Rockdale

The state of Georgia started their emissions program in 1996. Emissions testing is required annually in 13 metro Atlanta counties. Georgia clean air force (GCAF) was created because of the clean air act and the support of the Georgia Legislature. The clean air act of 1990 was an act to amend the clean air act to provide maintenance of health protective national ambient air quality standards and for other purposes, signed by George H.W Bush. The amendment was designed to curb four major threats to the environment and to health of millions of Americas: Acid rain, urban air pollution, toxic air emissions, and stratospheric ozone depletion.

Vehicle emissions are a major contribution to the increase air pollution as metro cities continue to grow. The environment health, and economic impacts of air pollution are significant. Air pollution can harm us when it accumulates in the high enough concentrations. Millions of Americans live in areas where urban smog, pollution, and toxic pollutants pose serious health concerns. People exposed to high enough levels of certain air pollutants may experience from the following

  • Irritation of eyes, nose, and throat
  • Wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and breathing difficuties
  • Asthma
  • Increased risk of heart attack

Also, long term risk include cancer and damage to the immune reproductive, and respiratory systems. in extreme cases it can cause death.

Zero Emissions

Hybrid car

Zero Emissions cars include battery-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel-cell-electric vehicles.

Georgia Clean Air Force (GCAF)

Georgia’s Clean Air Force (GCAF), also known as the Enhanced Vehicle Emission Inspection and Maintenance Program, was created in 1996 because of the Federal Clean Air Act. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets the federal air quality standards throughout the United States, determined that 13 metro Atlanta counties did not meet these standards due to a high level of air pollutants.

Roland Alonzi, Senior Account Supervisor works for the Georgia clean force and he explained what the Georgia clean air force do. “The Air Protection Branch of Georgia EPD is responsible for protecting Georgia's air quality through the regulation of emissions from industrial and mobile sources. Also, the Branch is responsible for monitoring the ambient levels of air pollutants throughout the State and providing the State ambient air quality information at the Ambient Air website (https://epd.georgia.gov/air-protection-branch). The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) protects and restores Georgia’s environment. EPD takes the lead in ensuring clean air, water and land. With its partners, EPD pursues a sustainable environment that provides a foundation for a vibrant economy and healthy communities".

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which sets the federal air quality standards throughout the United States, determined that 13 metro Atlanta counties did not meet these standards due to a high level of air pollutants. Emissions stations are categorized by the type of vehicles presented: "All Vehicles Welcome" and "1996 and Newer." For 2016 registration, vehicles that require an emissions test include 1992 - 2013 model year vehicles. Additionally, all emissions tests are sorted by manufacturer, model and year regardless of pass or fail.

Since its inception, GCAF, in partnership with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD), has removed more than 1.6 million tons of harmful pollutants from the air that we breathe. This has had a significant impact on the quality of life for Georgia’s residents. In total, 1.4 million tons of carbon monoxide, 138,800 tons of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide (NOx) and 97,800 tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been removed from the air that Georgians breathe.

In 2016, EPD reported that Atlanta’s air is cleaner than it has been in years. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Georgia is now “in attainment” for PM 2.5, or particulate matter pollutant levels. This means that the number of fine particle pollutants in outdoor air falls below the federal standard of 15 micro grams per cubic meter (ug/m3). Additionally, Georgia’s 8-hour ozone level measurements have dropped to the 2008 standard of 75 parts ozone per billion parts air (ppb).

Air Protection branch

The Air Protection Branch of Georgia's Environmental Protection Division is responsible for protecting Georgia's air quality through the regulation of emissions. the branch is responsible for monitoring the levels of air pollution throughout the state.

Air quality in Georgia has improved since Georgia Air Protection Branch of the (EPD) has monitored the air quality. The (EPD) has monitored the air quality in Georgia for over 40 years. The monitoring is performed to protect public health and environmental quality.

Report Summary of monitoring data from 2014 and previous years, an overall decrease in air pollution

Savannah Air Pollution

Index score: (100 = National Average) for an area is compared to the national average of 100. A score of 200 indicates twice the national average, while 50 indicates half the national average.

This demographic shows Savannah Georgia,Georgia, and The United States air pollution in 2012.

Carbon monoxide is on the graph, it is produced by cars and is released into the air. In Savannah carbon monoxide produced over 70 index to the air pollution. Nitrogen dioxide is another which contributed to over 70 index into the air pollution.

Reasons why cars fail emissions

Failing EVAP System

The Evaporate emission control system (EVAP), prevents gasoline vapors from being released into the air. this system will not be able to function correctly if there is a leak from a hose or if its cracked.

Bad 02 censor

If the 02 Censor malfunctions it cant properly monitor exhaust fumes which may cause additional problems for your vehicle. including overheating, poor acceleration or loss of engine power.

Rich fuel mixture

If high levels of carbon monoxide, which occurs if your vehicle is burning excessive amounts of gasoline are detected in the emissions test, and the vehicle wont pass

Bad fuel metering

Your vehicle monitors fuel to ensure that a correct air fuel mixture is created to keep the engine running smooth. if the computerized engine control or computer aided fuel injection unit falls or malfunctions the monitoring will be incorrect, which will cause the vehicle to fail.

Other common reasons for emission test failures include: a malfunction in the components of the vehicle that regulate the fuel/air ratio such as the oxygen sensor and the EGR valve; a dirty air filter; misfiring spark plugs; leaks in the vacuum system; or a poor-fitting fuel cap. Many of these components can be checked and repaired during routine tune-ups

Failed Emissions

Failing an emissions test can be stressful and no matter what you have to pass the test to get your vehicle registration. Senior Accountant major Jared Middleton had difficulties passing his emissions test. " I have been getting emissions test on my car since i was 18 years old and when i turned 22 i failed my first ever emissions".

Jared drives a ford explorer that he have had for about five years". My check engine light came on because i had a hole in what of the tubes that was connected to my engine. it wasn't serious but it still needed to be fixed".

Emissions test can vary from different prices, it really depends on the model and year of the car. Since Jared's ford is an 2004 he wont ever pay more than 20.00 for an emissions test." I only paid 20.00 for my emissions test and have never paid more than that".

Savannah doesn't require an emissions test so people with Atlanta tags who live in metro Atlanta counties have to still get an emissions test done. Jared had to drive to a different place just to get his test done. " I drove to Statesboro Georgia just to get my emissions done. When i drove to Statesboro, i failed my test but not because my car needed to be fixed, i had just got my car fixed but i needed to drive more miles because the computer didn't recognize my car being fixed yet. My next emissions test would be free if i came back to the same location which i did".

How to pass emissions

Clear check engine light if its on

In almost all circumstances, the vehicle will fail if the Check Engine Light is illuminated.

Drive your vehicle

Car should be driven on highway speed for roughly two weeks before taking the test

Change your oil before testing

Dirty oil can release pollutants

Have your vehicle tuned up about two weeks before testing

Ask your mechanic to check the car before testing to ensure results

Check tires to make sure they are properly inflated

Under-inflated tires will make the engine work harder and could affect your result

Inspect gas cap

Gas cap seals the fuel system, if its cracked or not fitted properly, it will trigger the check engine light

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.