Hill AFB workers soon must report vehicle emissions

By MITCH SHAW | (Ogden, Utah) Standard-Examiner | Published: January 23, 2014

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Apparently the Air Force is sending a message to all of its employees at Hill Air Force Base: Keep your tailpipes clean.

In an attempt to help clean up northern Utah's notoriously bad air, Hill commuters will now be required to report their vehicle emissions information to the federal government.

On Monday, an email will hit the mailboxes of almost all Hill employees, officially notifying them of a new requirement to begin reporting emissions information on personal vehicles driven on the base.

The email will contain a link to the Air Force's "Employee Certification and Reporting System," or ECARS, where employees will be prompted to enter information about their driving habits on the 7,000-acre military installation.

Glenn Palmer, Hill's air quality program manager with the 75th Civil Engineer Group, said all employees -- military, civilian and even those who carpool -- will have 30 days to complete the self-certification process.

Hill is one of approximately 60 Air Force bases requiring employees to use ECARS. The requirement went into effect in July 2012 and has been phased in at the bases since then.

"This applies to all the areas of the United States that struggle to meet air quality requirements," Palmer said. "Utah is one of the states dealing with poor air quality at times."

On Tuesday northern Utah marked its 23rd winter day of health alerts for toxic air, surpassing a number for last winter that was the worst in a decade, the state's air quality monitor said.

Hill employees who drive, or park their car on the base more than 60 days a year, will be required to enter information like the make, model and year of their vehicle; primary fuel type used by the vehicle; how many days per week the employee drives the vehicle on the base; and whether the vehicle has a current emissions certificate, is exempt from emissions testing, has failed, or not had air emissions testing done.

Employees who don't have an emissions certificate or who have failed testing will be required to bring their vehicle into compliance within 30 days.

Employees will be required to periodically re-certify their information into the system. Those employees who don't drive at least 60 days per year, or have valid exemptions will be prompted to re-certify their information annually.


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