Print Print
  • Acts
  • 1997
  • Chapter 210 AN ACT RELATIVE TO THE COMMONWEALTH'S MOTOR VEHICLE INSPECTION PROGRAM.

Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to authorize forthwith an enhanced motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program in the commonwealth, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:


SECTION 1. Chapter 10 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 1996 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out section 60.

SECTION 2. Said chapter 10, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out section 61 and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 61. There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth a separate fund to be known as the Motor Vehicle Inspection Trust Fund. There shall be credited to said fund all monies received or collected, including interest earned thereon, from that portion of the fee owed to the commonwealth pursuant to the seventh paragraph of section 7A of chapter 90 for a motor vehicle inspection; provided, however, that the comptroller shall annually transfer from said fund not less than $5,700,000 to the Highway Fund from the monies so credited. Amounts so credited shall be received and held in trust by the commonwealth and shall be expended, without further appropriation, solely for the purposes of administration and implementation of the motor vehicle inspection program established pursuant to said section 7A and sections 142J and 142M of chapter 111, including the direct personnel costs associated with said inspection program; provided, that an amount equal to the sum appropriated plus fringe costs in each fiscal year for the implementation and operation of the auto related component of the state implementation plan shall be transferred from said fund to the Clean Air Act Compliance Fund. The fund may incur a negative balance in anticipation of revenues to be received; provided, however, that the fund shall be in balance by June 30, 2005 and shall be in balance at the close of each fiscal year thereafter. All revenues credited to and all expenditures made from said fund shall be reported, by subsidiary, on the Massachusetts management accounting and reporting system and all personnel compensated from said fund shall be recorded on the human resources classification management system, so-called.

SECTION 3. Section 8G of chapter 26 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 139, the words "one hundred and forty-two J" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 142M.

SECTION 4. Section 1 of chapter 90 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 327, the words "safety or combined safety and emissions".

SECTION 5. Said section 1 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in line 331, the words "emissions portion of the combined safety and emissions".

SECTION 6. Said section 1 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out the definition of "Emissions analyzer".

SECTION 7. Said section 1 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 349 and 350, the words "safety or combined safety and emissions".

SECTION 8. Said section 1 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out, in lines 352 and 353, the words "safety or combined safety and emissions".

SECTION 9. Said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out section 7A and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 7A. The registrar shall establish rules and regulations providing for a periodic staggered inspection of all motor vehicles; provided, however, that the periodic inspection for motorcycles shall not be staggered and shall run from June 1 of each year until May 31 of the following year, inclusive.

The registrar shall establish and implement an ongoing quality assurance program to detect and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the inspection program. The quality assurance program shall include, but not be limited to, overt and covert audits of inspection facilities and inspectors, audits of data from inspection equipment, evaluation of quality control records and procedures and audits of consumer complaints and responses to such complaints.

The standards and requirements for the emissions component of the inspection shall be established by the commissioner of environmental protection, in consultation and coordination with the registrar, pursuant to sections 142J and 142M of chapter 111 or the rules and regulations made pursuant thereto.

Said commissioner shall, in consultation with the registrar, establish rules and regulations which shall determine and identify the motor vehicles which shall be subject to the emissions component of the inspection and shall notify the registrar of such determination.

In addition to the emissions testing requirements, the rules and regulations for the periodic staggered inspection established hereunder shall include, but not be limited to, an annual maintenance inspection to determine the proper and safe condition of the following: brakes, stop lamps, lights, directional signals, horn, vehicle identification number, steering and suspension systems, glazing, windshield wipers and cleaner, number plates, tires, fenders, bumpers, external sheet metal, reflectors, splash guards, chock blocks, safety belts and exhaust system. The registrar may waive, by written document, certain inspection requirements if any such waiver furthers the public interest or is based on technological development and does not compromise the public safety; provided, however, that for motor vehicles one model year old or less, the registrar may require that the initial inspection mandated by this paragraph be performed at the end of the first full year of registration.

The registrar shall establish rules and regulations providing for the inspection of school buses or buses operated under a certificate, license or permit issued in accordance with the provisions of chapter 159A which are used for the transportation of school children to and from school and in connection with school activities, other than buses used simultaneously as public common carriers of passengers or designed primarily for mass transportation, within seven days of the date on which the vehicle is first registered to a new owner and during the fall, winter and spring. The first inspection shall be in the months of August and September, the second inspection shall be in the months of December and January and the third inspection shall be in the months of April and May. The semiannual safety inspection for those vehicles regulated by section 7D shall be inspected during the fall and winter, the first inspection during the months of October and November and the second inspection during the months of February and March. Such inspections shall be in addition to the periodic staggered inspection as required by this section.

The secretary of administration and finance, pursuant to the provisions of section 3B of chapter 7 and based on a recommendation of the registrar and said commissioner, shall determine the amount to be charged for the periodic staggered inspection of all motor vehicles required hereunder; provided, however, that the fee charged for such inspections shall be sufficient to offset fully the costs of administration and implementation of said inspection program incurred by the department, the registry and the inspection stations licensed pursuant to section 7W, including the cost of any contract entered into pursuant to section 142M of chapter 111; and provided further, that such fee shall be an annual charge which shall remain constant for each year of the two-year inspection cycle. Each inspection facility shall remit to the registrar a portion of the collected inspection fee in an amount established by said secretary in consultation with said registrar and said commissioner, which shall be deposited in the Motor Vehicle Inspection Trust Fund established by section 61 of chapter 10. All amounts credited to said fund shall be expended at the direction of the registrar in consultation with said commissioner, without further appropriation; provided, however, that such amount expended shall be used solely for the purpose of implementation, administration, oversight and enforcement of the inspection program instituted by the registrar pursuant to this chapter. The registrar shall, by agreement with said commissioner, transfer such moneys from said fund as may be necessary for the department of environmental protection to carry out its responsibilities pursuant to sections 142J and 142M of chapter 111 and Clean Air Act programs that support said inspection program. Pursuant to section 5D of chapter 29, the comptroller shall transfer to the General Fund the fringe benefit costs, including group life, health insurance and retirement benefits and any incidental costs incurred by said program. On or before December 1 of each fiscal year, the registrar shall file an annual financial plan for the projected revenues and expenditures of the account for the current fiscal year and for the subsequent fiscal year with the secretaries of public safety, administration and finance and environmental affairs and the chairmen of the joint committee on public safety and the house and senate committees on ways and means. All revenues credited to and all expenditures made from said fund shall be reported, by subsidiary, on the Massachusetts management accounting and reporting system and all personnel compensated from said fund shall be recorded on the human resources classification management system.

Each applicant to become a licensee under the provisions of section 7W shall remit a fee established by said secretary pursuant to the provisions of section 3B of chapter 7, based upon a recommendation from the registrar, before a license may be issued pursuant to said section 3B. Such fee shall be deposited in the Highway Fund.

The rules and regulations promulgated by the registrar pursuant to this section shall provide that a motor vehicle which is not garaged or operated within the commonwealth during its assigned inspection period may be operated for 15 days after its return to the commonwealth if such motor vehicle bears satisfactory proof of adequate safety and emissions inspection from another jurisdiction. The owner or person in control of such motor vehicle shall obtain the required safety and emissions inspection within said 15 days.

SECTION 10. Section 7N of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in lines 3 and 4, the words "safety or combined safety and emissions" and inserting in place thereof the following words:- periodic staggered.

SECTION 11. Said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out section 7W and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 7W. No person or facility shall conduct inspections of motor vehicles pursuant to section 7A of this chapter or section 142J or 142M of chapter 111 unless such person is licensed by the registrar.

The registrar, in consultation with the commissioner of environmental protection, shall establish rules and regulations for the licensing and operating requirements of all stations or facilities that conduct inspections pursuant to said section 7A or said section 142J or 142M.

The registrar, upon granting the opportunity for a hearing, may revoke or suspend any license or certification issued under this section or place conditions or limitations on such license for a violation of any rule or regulation promulgated hereunder.

A person who is convicted of a violation of any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or both such fine and imprisonment.

Notwithstanding the provision of section 30A, the registrar may allow access or inquiry into computer data files under the control of said registrar in order to facilitate the establishment of a computerized communication system between the registry, the department of environmental protection, inspection facilities and any other person or entity in order to enforce compliance with any inspection or enforcement requirements of this chapter or chapter 111 or any other law or rule or regulation related thereto.

SECTION 12. Section 20 of said chapter 90, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the last paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-

Any person who operates and any person who owns or permits to be operated a motor vehicle or trailer that fails to meet the safety standards established by the registrar pursuant to section 7A shall be punished by a fine of $25. Any person who owns and fails to have inspected a motor vehicle owned by him, as required pursuant to section 7A or 7V of this chapter or sections 142J and 142M of chapter 111 or any person who operates or permits a motor vehicle owned by him to be operated without a certificate of inspection or a certificate of rejection displayed in accordance with the provisions of said section 7A or 7V or said sections 142J or 142M and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder shall be punished by a fine of $50. Any motor vehicle which is required to be inspected pursuant to the provisions of said section 7A and said section 142J or 142M and fails to meet the requirements of such inspection and has not been issued a certificate of waiver under the provisions of clause (b) of the first paragraph of said section 7V or said section 142M shall be subject to suspension or revocation of the certificate of registration as may be prescribed by the registrar under section 22.

SECTION 13. Section 142J of chapter 111 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the third and fourth paragraphs.

SECTION 14. Said chapter 111 is hereby further amended by striking out section 142M, as most recently amended by section 82 of chapter 43 of the acts of 1997, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 142M. (a) As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

"Commissioner", the commissioner of environmental protection.

"Department", the department of environmental protection.

"Dynamometer", a device which applies a load to a vehicle's drive wheels while operating in a stationary, secure position to simulate actual driving conditions for an emissions inspection.

"Electronic network", or "network", a computerized communication system including, but not limited to, the computers, communications devices and software for such system which links emissions analyzers, the department's emissions database, and the registry of motor vehicles' registration database and which allows the department and the registry to store and analyze data on motor vehicle emissions inspections, motor vehicles and emissions inspectors.

"Emissions analyzer", a device which measures the volume of air pollutants and gases in motor vehicle exhaust.

"Emissions inspection", a component of the periodic staggered inspection of motor vehicles required by section 7A of chapter 90 including, but not limited to, the inspection of a motor vehicle's emissions control equipment, including its computer system relating to emissions, the measurement of air pollutant concentrations or mass in vehicle exhaust with an analyzer while the vehicle is operated on a dynamometer, the verification of vehicle fuel system integrity and the entry of a complete emissions inspection record in the registry's database for the vehicle being inspected, as prescribed by the department in regulations and performed by an emissions inspector.

"Emissions inspection certificate" or "inspection certificate", a printed statement, instrument or device in a form prescribed by the registrar, in consultation with the commissioner, which provides inspection information and facilitates effective enforcement of the emissions inspection and maintenance requirements of this section and chapter 90.

"Emissions inspection facility", a facility, licensed by the registrar under section 7W of chapter 90 for conducting motor vehicle emissions inspections and other related duties.

"Emissions inspector", a properly trained person, licensed by the registrar and certified by the department and meeting the department's requirements for performing motor vehicle emissions inspections.

"Emissions repair technician", a person registered with the department and meeting departmental training standards for diagnosing and repairing motor vehicles which fail an emissions inspection.

"Emissions inspection and maintenance program" or "I&M program", a component of the periodic staggered motor vehicle inspection required by section 7A of chapter 90 which shall include motor vehicle emissions inspections, including accurate and effective testing of vehicles, using emission testing equipment, visual and functional tests of evaporative systems, rigorous compliance and enforcement activities and quality assurance and quality control procedures which promotes effective emissions repair and maintenance of the motor vehicle.

"Evaporative emissions test", a test administered to determine whether there are leaks in a vehicle's fuel or evaporative control system, such as purge functions of a vapor canister.

"Emissions waiver certificate", a written statement, instrument or device indicating that the requirement of compliance with the emissions standards and criteria for the emissions component of the motor vehicle inspection program has been waived for a particular motor vehicle.

"On-road test", a field test designed and conducted to assess the emissions of motor vehicles.

"Registrar", the registrar of motor vehicles.

"Registry", the registry of motor vehicles.

"Tampering", (i) the act of removing or rendering inoperative any device or element of design installed on or in a motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine in compliance with regulations under section 203(a) of the federal Clean Air Act prior to its sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser; or (ii) for any manufacturer or dealer knowingly to remove or render inoperative any such device or element of design after such sale and delivery to the ultimate purchaser.

"Vehicle identification number" or "VIN", the unique number assigned to each vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer identifying specific vehicle characteristics, such as make, model, model year, pollution control devices and the particular vehicle itself.

(b) Pursuant to this section, the department shall develop the standards, requirements and rules and regulations for the emissions component of the periodic staggered inspection program established pursuant to section 7A of chapter 90. It shall be the responsibility of the department, under authority of this chapter, to provide the direct primary oversight of the operational and environmental aspects of the emissions component of the inspection program. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require the leasing or purchasing of a dynamometer, an emissions analyzer or any necessary computer hardware or software by an emissions inspection facility from the network contractor; provided, however, the network contractor shall provide access to the data acquisition and management network to any emissions inspection facility who purchases or leases a dynamometer, emissions analyzer or necessary computer hardware or software through sources other than the network contractor so long as such equipment complies with testing equipment specifications as established by the commissioner in consultation with the registrar. Any requests for proposals for contracting with a network contractor shall require that the commissioner, in consultation with the registrar, shall have oversight over the charge assessed by the network contractor for access to the data acquisition and management network to emissions inspection facilities who purchased equipment through sources other than the network contractor; provided, however, that notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the commissioner and the registrar may require emissions inspection facilities to obtain, lease or purchase such equipment from the network contractor upon the determination that allowing emissions inspection facilities to lease or purchase such equipment through sources other than the network contractor would result in an increase in the inspection fee. Said determination shall be made by the commissioner and registrar, in consultation with the secretary of administration and finance, only upon a finding that no feasible option exists by which emissions inspection facilities may obtain such equipment through sources other than the network contractor without increasing the inspection fee. The amount of said fee for said inspection shall be uniform statewide. It shall be the responsibility of the registrar, under authority of chapter 90, to license inspection facilities and inspectors and to register vehicles complying with the inspection program requirements and to conduct audit and enforcement activities related thereto. The department, on behalf of the commonwealth, shall be responsible for submitting all appropriate and required program regulations on the motor vehicle emissions component of the inspection and maintenance program and applicable revisions to the state implementation plan to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in accordance with the requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. The department, in conjunction with the registry, may develop and implement a demonstration or pilot of the motor vehicle emissions inspection program or elements of such program to evaluate the effectiveness of such program, or elements of such program, in successfully reducing air contaminants emitted by motor vehicles in the commonwealth as required by federal law.

The emissions component of the inspection program shall be required statewide, shall be conducted on a staggered basis throughout the year and shall be required of each subject motor vehicle at least every two years unless otherwise exempted or specified by the department. The commissioner shall establish rules and regulations specifying which motor vehicles shall be subject to the motor vehicles emissions component of the inspection program.

The commissioner shall establish rules and regulations establishing standards and criteria for motor vehicle emissions inspections, giving consideration to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's performance standards for the enhanced emissions inspection and maintenance program and the level of emission reductions necessary to achieve and maintain federal and state ambient air quality standards. Such standards and criteria shall include, but not be limited to, a requirement to test motor vehicle emissions for hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and oxides of nitrogen. The standards and criteria may be different for different model years and types of vehicles.

The commissioner, in consultation with the registrar, shall establish rules and regulations relative to testing equipment specifications, including emissions analyzers, quality assurance and quality control procedures for testing equipment, calibration gases, failure rates, emission standards, testing procedures, data collection and data analysis, and program evaluation.

The registrar, in consultation with the commissioner, shall determine the number and location of inspection facilities necessary for the success of the emissions component of the inspection program while considering consumer convenience and cost and achieving an equitable distribution across the commonwealth. Said registrar shall report to the joint committee on public safety and the house and senate committees on ways and means the actual number and location of inspection facilities on or before July 1, 1998. The commissioner may establish criteria and a process to select qualified applicants who shall be authorized to participate in the emissions component of the inspection program. In no event shall the use of state-owned or municipal-owned property as a site for an inspection facility or a test center relieve the owner or operator of the inspection facility from paying to the municipality an amount equal to the local property taxes due if such property was not state-owned or municipal-owned.

The department and the registry, in implementing the requirements of this section, shall acquire personnel, purchase equipment and procure services necessary to achieve the objectives hereunder including, but not limited to, the following: (i) inspection of motor vehicles; (ii) data acquisition and data management; (iii) quality control and quality assurance; (iv) on-road testing; (v) program evaluation; (vi) public communications; (vii) research and development; and (viii) any other purposes related to the development and implementation of the motor vehicle emissions component of the inspection program.

The technical and performance specifications of any equipment determined by the department to be necessary and required in the implementation of the provisions of this section, shall be reevaluated periodically as to its useful life, flexibility and applicability as to changing technological conditions and continued effectiveness in the emissions inspection and maintenance program.

The department and the registry shall contract with a private entity demonstrating an ability to manage emissions programs, hereinafter referred to as the network contractor, to develop and manage the network and inspection facilities of said motor vehicle inspection program. The department and the registry shall, as a term and condition of such contract, require the network contractor to: (i) acquire and distribute inspection facility equipment; and (ii) acquire such equipment and the associated maintenance services from at least two separate suppliers at discount prices through volume purchasing. Such contract shall also include performance standards which shall pertain to the motor vehicle inspection program goals as set forth in the commonwealth's state implementation plan. Such contract shall also require the network contractor to establish at least five test centers to be evenly distributed across the commonwealth for research, training, repair assistance and for any other purposes related to the implementation and success of the emissions component of the inspection program. The network contractor shall be responsible for achieving such goals as set forth in regulations, policies and contract terms established by the department and registry. Such contract shall require an extensive public education and awareness program prior to the implementation of the motor vehicle inspection program. Such public education program shall include, but not be limited to, establishing and maintaining a comprehensive consumer outreach campaign concerning air quality, sources of pollutants, relevant aspects of automobile maintenance and other topics related to the motor vehicle inspection requirements of chapter 90 and this chapter. Such consumer outreach campaign shall include a consumer hotline to receive motorists' complaints and to answer questions regarding the inspection procedures, repair information and other related inspection issues.

(c) The commissioner shall establish rules and regulations implementing the motor vehicle emissions component of the inspection program required by section 7A of chapter 90. Such rules and regulations may reflect a phased-in schedule for the motor vehicles subject to the emissions component of the inspection program; provided, however, that such phase-in shall not begin prior to July 1, 1998. The department may continue to implement the motor vehicle emissions inspection program established pursuant to section 142J of chapter 111 while phasing-in the new requirements of this section.

The department shall notify the registrar as to which motor vehicles shall be subject to the motor vehicle emissions component of the inspection program. Said registrar shall give reasonable notification in the form prescribed by said registrar, to the owners of motor vehicles subject to the emissions inspection indicating which emissions inspection procedures shall be required. The registrar shall not issue a registration or, if such registration has already been issued, shall suspend or not renew the registration of any motor vehicle which does not comply with the provisions of this section or any regulation promulgated hereunder.

The commissioner may establish regulations for exempting certain motor vehicles from some or all of the requirements of this section. The following motor vehicles may be exempt from the provisions of this section and may require alternative test procedures: (i) any motor vehicle the model year of which is 15 years before the year in which the inspection occurs; (ii) any motor vehicle or class of motor vehicle that is exempted by regulation or policy by the department because the vehicle or class presents a prohibitive inspection problem or is inappropriate for inspection; (iii) any motor vehicle operated exclusively by electric power; and (iv) for one inspection cycle only, any motor vehicle two model years old or less at the time the vehicle is due for inspection.

The commissioner and the registrar shall establish procedures under which fleet operators of fleets of 12 or more vehicles that are centrally fueled and maintained may be authorized under such program to conduct inspections and maintenance activities regarding such vehicles, subject to such audit, review and enforcement under this section as the commissioner and registrar deem appropriate.

The motorist presenting a motor vehicle for an emissions inspection shall pay a fee to the inspection facility pursuant to section 7A of chapter 90.

The registrar shall establish certification, training and continuing education requirements for the safety component of the inspection program. The commissioner shall establish certification, training and continuing education requirements for the emissions component of the inspection program. Such requirements shall be a precondition to the issuance of a license to conduct motor vehicle inspections issued by the registrar. Any person conducting an official motor vehicle inspection without having received such license and certification shall be subject to the penalties set forth in subsection (f).

The commissioner shall take steps to ensure that the capability exists in the repair industry to repair motor vehicles which fail the emissions component of the inspections required herein. Such steps shall include, but not be limited to, training and continuing education for emissions repair technicians and the involvement of vocational or technical schools and various members and sectors of the automobile and automotive repair industry. The commissioner shall establish procedures to register emissions repair technicians and to conduct a performance monitoring program of repair technicians, emissions inspection facilities and emissions inspectors. Such performance monitoring may include, but not be limited to, collection and evaluation of data on repairs. The provision of this paragraph shall not prevent any person not so registered from performing emissions repairs.

The department and the registry may conduct on-road testing of motor vehicles, including trucks and buses, for research, development, inspection or enforcement purposes. On-road testing may include identification of motor vehicles which would pass the emissions inspection and motor vehicles which would fail the emissions inspection. The on-road testing program may include, but shall not be limited to: (i) the use of portable or remote sensing equipment to measure pollutants of a moving motor vehicle; (ii) evaluation of the use of such equipment, alone or with other analytical information, equipment or techniques, as a supplement or alternative to, replacement of or enforcement of the emissions inspection; and (iii) the establishment of test centers to research and evaluate the accuracy and effectiveness of various emissions testing and enforcement methods.

The department and the registry shall create or enter into contracts to create an electronic network linking the department, emissions inspection equipment, the registry and any contractor to the department. Such electronic network shall facilitate implementation, evaluation and enforcement of the emissions inspection and maintenance program by the department and the registry.

The registrar shall establish protocols for communication on the electronic network. At its discretion, the registrar may grant emissions inspection equipment, inspection facilities and inspectors access to the electronic network. The commissioner and the registrar shall require emissions inspection equipment to communicate with the commissioner through the electronic network. The registrar, in consultation with the commissioner shall establish procedures and requirements for connecting and disconnecting emissions inspection equipment and inspection facilities and for granting emissions inspectors access to the electronic network.

The commissioner, in consultation with the registrar, may adopt rules and regulations to implement an emissions inspection and maintenance program for diesel-fueled motor vehicles.

The commissioner, in consultation with the registrar, shall promulgate rules and regulations to establish a program for the issuance of emissions waiver certificates; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall include eligibility standards and criteria, a procedure whereby motorists may petition for emissions waiver certificates and a notification process to inform motorists of the emissions waiver certificate program and the emissions waiver certificate petition process. Such eligibility standards and criteria shall include, but not be limited to, provisions for the issuance of emissions waiver certificates to any owner of a motor vehicle who displays satisfactory proof that such motor vehicle has undergone emissions-related repairs at a cost that exceeds a maximum cost threshold to be determined by the commissioner and the registrar. The commissioner shall report on the emissions waiver certificate program to the joint committees on public safety and the house and senate committees on ways and means on or before July 1, 1998.

(d) The commissioner and the registrar shall establish programs for public information and consumer protection. The commissioner shall establish procedures and requirements for the network contractor to ensure maximum convenience to the motorist.

Each emissions inspection facility shall distribute information to inform the public about the requirements, benefits and other consumer-related matters of the emissions inspection and maintenance program and any other information useful to the better understanding and facilitation of the emissions inspection to the consumer as directed by the commissioner.

Each inspection facility, while performing the emissions inspection, shall be capable of providing consumer protection by generating data on warranty-related recalls in a form and manner prescribed by the commissioner and any other related information deemed necessary by the commissioner. In addition, the commissioner shall establish procedures to advise motorists whose vehicles are subject to either a voluntary emissions recall or remedial action plan, as defined in and pursuant to section 207 of the federal Clean Air Act, to obtain the appropriate repairs.

(e) The commissioner, in consultation with the registrar, shall develop, establish and implement a quality control program to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the emissions component of the inspection program. Such quality control program may include, but not be limited to, procedures for: (i) calibrating, operating and maintaining emissions inspection equipment; (ii) documenting the results from the performance of such calibration, operation and maintenance; and (iii) transmitting such documentation to the department.

The registrar, in consultation with the commissioner, shall develop, establish and implement an on-going quality assurance program to discover and prevent fraud, waste and abuse in the emissions component of the inspection program. The quality assurance program shall include, but not be limited to, overt and covert audits of emissions inspection facilities and emissions inspectors, audits of data from emissions inspection facilities, examination of emissions inspection equipment, evaluation of quality control records and procedures and audits of consumer complaints and responses to such complaints.

(f) The commissioner and the registrar or their designees shall have the authority to enforce any provision of this section and may establish rules and regulations pursuant to such authority. Such enforcement authority shall permit officers or agents of the department or the registry to enter the premises of any motor vehicle inspection facility or any contractor to protect the public health and the environment, implement the quality control and quality assurance requirements of this section and for any other reasonable purpose related to implementation and enforcement of the motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program as determined by the commissioner and the registrar.

The registrar shall establish rules and regulations prohibiting any person from issuing an inspection certificate for a motor vehicle that has not been inspected in accordance with, or is not in compliance with, the standards and criteria for motor vehicle inspections as required in this section. The registrar also shall establish rules and regulations prohibiting any person from failing to issue a certificate for a motor vehicle that has been inspected in accordance with, and in compliance with, the standards and criteria for motor vehicle inspections required in this section if such motor vehicle meets the applicable standards and criteria. No person shall alter, falsify or counterfeit an emissions inspection certificate.

The registrar may deny access to the electronic network to any inspection facility or emissions inspector that said registrar has reason to believe is not performing inspections in compliance with the registry's rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this section or under the authority of chapter 90.

Tampering with any emissions control device or system is hereby prohibited. No person shall take any action that has the effect of causing a motor vehicle to no longer comply with federal law or with the applicable standards and criteria for the motor vehicle emissions inspection and maintenance program or with requirements for motor vehicle registration. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the temporary alteration of equipment for motor vehicle repair or for the quality assurance program established pursuant to subsection (e).

The commissioner and the registrar shall have the authority to order any person, inspection facility or contractor to stop or abate a violation of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this section or chapter 90.

Any person who violates any of the provisions of the second or fourth paragraph of this subsection and any person or facility licensed or required to be licensed pursuant to section 7W of chapter 90 who violates any requirement or regulation adopted pursuant to this section or any certificate or order issued thereunder shall: (i) be punished for each violation by a fine of not more than $25,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment; or (ii) be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each such violation. Each day or part thereof that such violation occurs or continues shall be deemed a separate violation. The civil penalty may be assessed in an action brought on behalf of the commonwealth in the superior court. The commonwealth also may bring an action for injunctive relief in the superior court for any such violation, and the superior court shall have jurisdiction to enjoin such violation and to grant such further relief as it may deem appropriate.

SECTION 15. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 6B of chapter 11 of the General Laws, any provision of section 142M of chapter 111 of the General Laws shall be a continuation of current, long-standing requirements to inspect motor vehicles for emissions and to effect emissions-related repairs if a vehicle fails such emissions inspection. Any such requirement that results in emissions inspection or associated repair costs to local or county governments shall not be construed as an additional requirement.

SECTION 16. Chapter 490 of the acts of 1993 is hereby amended by striking out section 9, as most recently amended by section 153 of chapter 43 of the acts of 1997, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-

Section 9. Section 8 shall take effect on July 1, 1998.

SECTION 17. The secretary of administration and finance shall report to the joint committee on public safety and the house and senate committees on ways and means, at least 60 days prior to the implementation of the emissions component of the motor vehicle inspection program established under section 7A of chapter 90 of the General Laws, the fee to be charged for any such inspection pursuant to section 7A of chapter 90.

SECTION 18. The commissioner of environmental protection, in consultation with the registrar of motor vehicles, shall report to the joint committees on public safety and the house and senate committees on ways and means, at least 60 days prior to the implementation of the emissions component of the inspection program established pursuant to section 7A of chapter 90 of the General Laws, on the cost of administration and implementation of said motor vehicle inspection program; provided, however, that such report shall include the full annual cost of said inspection program to the department of environmental protection and the registry of motor vehicles, including the number and salaries of full-time equivalent state employees and contracted employees employed by said department and said registry, respectively, for the administration and oversight of said motor vehicle inspection program; and provided further, that such report shall detail the cost of all other components of said motor vehicle inspection program, including the cost of any contract entered into pursuant to the eighth paragraph of subsection (b) of section 142M of chapter 111.

SECTION 19. Any regulations promulgated pursuant to the requirements of this act shall be consistent with the public notice requirements of section 2 of chapter 30A of the General Laws.

SECTION 20. If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or applications of this act which can be given affect without the invalid provision or application.

Approved November 28, 1997.