Chicago now left without any emissions testing facilities

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Many Chicago drivers are being inconvenienced by the closing of the last two Illinois emissions testing facilities in Chicago. (WLS)

Many Chicago drivers are being inconvenienced by the closing of the last two Illinois emissions testing facilities in Chicago.

Tuesday was the first day that car owners in the city have to travel to the suburbs for the test.

Aida Oqunido found out the hard way - that the vehicle emissions testing center is now closed for good.

"It's not right. We have to go a long way to find another one," she said.

The location is one of four vehicle emissions testing facilities shuttered by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to save millions by cutting costs by using a private contractor to run the testing program.

"I think (there) should be at least one location in the city," said Michael Weissbluth.

The Webster Avenue facility and Forest Preserve Drive locations were the last two testing facilities in the city, leaving Chicago drivers without a city testing station.

That means that the north suburban Skokie location is closest to Chicago's North Side.

Facilities in Tinley Park and Elk Grove Village closed as well.

But testing centers in west suburban Addison and southwest suburban Bedford Park are still up and running.

"I'm annoyed because I had to drive all the way out here," said Marc Sponholz.

The Federal Clean Air Act requires that emissions testing facilities must be located within 12 miles of motorists who need to get their vehicles tested.

A spokesperson for the Illinois EPA says the move complies with the law and reflects a more efficient, more accurate and less expensive test.

But Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Chicago-based advocacy group, says the move doesn't make sense.

"Chicago is the largest city in the state," he said.
Related Topics:
automotivedrivingtestsenvironmentenvironmental protection agencyChicago - DowntownElk Grove VillageTinley Park
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