Hundreds get free emissions tests at Fresno Fairgrounds

FRESNO, Calif.

Starting your car and revving up your engine is pretty pricey if you don't pass a smog test. Veneacia Colwell didn't, but she's grateful for Saturday's emissions test and repair that saved her hundreds of dollars.

"I am extremely happy because it helped out a lot and we don't have to pay for the smog," Colwell said.

Colwell lined up with about 600 others to get their rides tested for free.

"We in Fresno particularly get a huge turn out and, yeah, there was people camping out at night," Jose Marin of Valley Clean Air Now said.

The event is hosted by Valley Clean Air Now and the Air Pollution Control District. Those who don't pass the smog test get a $500 voucher to have their cars repaired.

"These are folks here who are saying I want to be responsible and do what I can to make sure my car is up to California state standards as far as emissions are concerned but I may not have the money to fix my smog issues," Fresno City Council Member Oliver Baines said.

Baines sits on the board of the Air Pollution Control District. He says providing people with vouchers to tune up their cars is good for the local economy.

"90% of that money is spent right here in Fresno so the good thing is we get a lot of recaptured dollars right here so our automotive repair shops are the beneficiaries of this grant money," Baines said.

And with recent mix of hot weather and pollution Valley drivers say they're happy to help battle bad air.

"I'm helping out the environment and it's also helping me out too because I get to breathe better," Siles Roy of Fresno said.

The next free test is scheduled for September 8 at the Merced County Fairgrounds.

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