Air District to continue vehicle repair program

Vehicle emissions are key contributors to the formation of ozone, the major component of summertime smog.

To help reduce these emissions, the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has approved $4 million to continue the Tune In and Tune Up vehicle repair program.

The program provides funding to Valley residents to make smog-related repairs to their vehicles in an effort to reduce pollution. Since the inception of the program, the district, in conjunction with Valley Clean Air Now, has held more than 40 repair events and repaired more than 7,600 vehicles, saving $7,500 per ton of emissions reduced, according to a news release from the program.

Based on district guidelines, vehicles that qualify after a free test may receive up to $500 in the form of a voucher. Repairs can be completed at a participating STAR smog check station.

In addition to the repair program, $500,000 has been approved for the expansion of a vehicle replacement component under Tune In and Tune Up.

This program uses the weekend repair events to find suitable candidates for vehicle replacement using several criteria including vehicle model, year, registration status and emissions level. Qualifying owners are offered up to $5,000 to replace their cars with newer and cleaner vehicles from a participating dealership.

The next repair event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Chowchilla Fairgrounds, 1000 S. Third Street. The event will only provide emissions screenings, and no smog certificates will be issued.

Participants must be San Joaquin Valley residents and must have owned the car for more than six months. Residents should expect about a two-hour wait, officials say.

For more information about the repair program call (800) 806-2004.