Emissions testing crossing county lines: 'It doesn't make sense'

KUNA, Idaho (KBOI) - A Kuna driver is frustrated about emissions testing crossing over county lines.

Ada County drivers have been required to have emissions test done since 1984. But Kuna, which is in Ada County, was not included in that at the time. Then in 2010, Canyon County mandated the same law, and Kuna feel under that county's jurisdiction.

Randy Graham is frustrated with the situation because he lives in Kuna, which is in Ada County, but says he's been told he has to go to Canyon County to get his car checked out. His question is why?

"The whole thing doesn't make any sense," Graham said. "I live in Ada County, I pay taxes in Ada County, I do everything in Ada County. I don't go to Nampa or Caldwell for anything."

When Canyon County started requiring drivers to get emissions tests done, Kuna was grouped under that program.

"They didn't ask, they just came in and said Kuna was part of Canyon County," Graham said.

KBOI talked with the Department of Air Quality about the confusion. Managers told us that the city of Kuna did have some options in 2010 including implementing an emission testing program of its own, joining an existing one, or putting together some sort of alternative program that would help reduce emissions.

KBOI also talked to the mayor of Kuna, who said the city wanted to find a place in town to conduct the tests, but couldn't get a business to house the testing center.

At that point, the mayor said the city went to the DEQ for help. So the DEQ stepped in, and placed Kuna under its program, which is operated in Canyon County.

But there is some good news for Graham and other drivers who call Kuna home. It's not well advertised, but you can get your vehicle tested in either county.

"Both programs accept tests from the other programs," David Luft, an air quality manager at the DEQ said. "With passing tests it works really well."

Luft said the benefit to getting your emissions checked in your designated county is that if your car does fail a test, it's a lot easier to get a repair waiver.

The DEQ also said they are working with the city of Kuna to bring a temporary emissions testing station to Kuna City Hall a couple of times a month, possibly as early as next month. That way, drivers in Kuna could get their tests done a little closer to home.