CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – For many in North Carolina, the yearly inspection of a vehicle is a necessary evil, a part of living in North Carolina, but also a thorn in people’s sides.

Over the years, though, the state has sought to somewhat ease the pain.  One of the inspections, an emissions test, is now only done in 20 counties, and in the spots that need it the most.

However, Senate Bill 341 would eliminate emissions inspections in all but one county, Mecklenburg.

“They are meeting qualifications, but they are within 3% of attainability,” said State Sen. Steve Jarvis, co-sponsor of the legislation, of Mecklenburg’s exclusion.

Jarvis said Mecklenburg would eventually be a part of the measure once ozone levels come down further.

“The majority of all states have done away with this, and that’s why we’re trying to follow suit,” said Jarvis.

Senate Bill 341 would also make annual safety inspections every other year.  If approved, it would be implemented statewide, but the emissions measure is meeting with some pushback from some environmental groups.

“Our air quality is at a critical point where we need to be not only looking at other transportation choices but making sure our vehicles are operating properly,” said Sustain Charlotte’s Meg Fencil.

She noted that, if emissions tests end in the metropolitan areas of the state, “we wouldn’t know how much of that (pollution and ozone level) is coming from our vehicles.”

Jarvis noted those criticisms but said the move towards electric and more fuel-efficient vehicles is driving his legislation, along with a potential cost cut for anyone needing an emissions fix.

So far, this legislation is a Republican-led effort.  However, Jarvis said there is interest from Democrats in the bill.