Four vehicle emissions testing facilities, including the last two in the city of Chicago, are being shut down by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency on Nov. 1 to reduce costs and streamline operations.
Closures of the testing stations at 1850 W. Webster Ave. and 6959 W. Forest Preserve Drive leave Chicago motorists without a city testing facility. The nearest locations will be in Skokie, Addison and Bedford Park. The other two locations being closed are in Tinley Park and Elk Grove.
“For the state to decide there will be no inspection in the city of Chicago, in the largest city in the state, third largest city in the country, and expect the same level of quality, it makes no common sense,” said Howard Learner, president of the Environmental Law & Policy Center, a Chicago-based environmental advocacy group.
Many Chicagoans, including city officials, were surprised by the closings.
“It’s news to me,” said Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Chicago Department of Transportation.
“This short-sighted move would place a significant burden on Chicago motor vehicle owners and force them to drive outside the city limits for required environmental tests, exacerbating the problem emissions testing is designed to protect against,” he added.