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Capitol Briefs: Emissions exemption bill heads to House despite bipartisan concerns

  

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri Senate passed a bill regarding the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to the House Thursday in the hopes the lower chamber would strip it back to its original form. 

SB 40, sponsored by Sen. Eric Burlison, would make several changes to DNR, including exempting Franklin, Sullivan, and Jefferson counties from the motor vehicle emissions inspection program administered by the Air Conservation Commission. Senators expressed concerns over the fiscal note and the way the federal government could react to the exemption, hoping the lower chamber would strip the provision back.

“Nothing against the underlying bill, but this is something that I think, as the Transportation chairman, is tough to gamble with,” Sen. Justin Brown said. “We’re in a new administration, a new Congress, and we don’t know how they would react to some of these possible violations against compliance, and to me it’s not worth rolling the dice.”

  • The bill ultimately passed 23-10 along party lines after Democrats also spoke against the provision. 
  • The provision was added during perfection last month in the form of amendments from Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz and Sen. Bill Eigel. Schatz also expressed hope the provision would be stripped back in the lower chamber given the $52 million fiscal note. 
  • The bill would prevent DNR from imposing stricter regulations than the federal government’s and alter the procedures for violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law, among other changes.