Jan. 7—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — State Sen. Wayne Langerholc, Jr., R-Richland, has started his new term as the Senate Transportation Committee chairman by once again bringing up his ongoing effort to have Cambria County removed from the list of counties with mandated vehicle emissions testing.
Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward reappointed Langerholc to the position for the current two-year session that got underway this past week.
He has chaired the committee since January 2021.
"I am honored to be reappointed as chairman of the committee responsible for overseeing the commonwealth's transportation system, which is one of the largest networks in the nation," Langerholc said in a released statement. "I look forward to continuing the important work of reining-in spending, right-sizing operations, ensuring our region receives ample funds, and fighting for cost-saving reforms to ensure Pennsylvanians benefit from a modern, efficient transportation system."
The emissions testing is a matter Langerholc has been trying to address since his early days in office.
A 2017 Joint State Government Commission study, conducted as a result of legislation sponsored by Langerholc, put Cambria County as one of seven counties that could be removed from the list.
"This is a fight I've been involved in for many years and one I will continue until it is over," Langerholc said. "Cambria County's Ambient Air Quality has drastically improved so much that it no longer triggers inclusion in the nonattainment region. It is time that residents are rewarded for the significant improvement and not saddled with this oppressive fee every time they take their vehicles for inspection.
"My legislation echoes the voices of my constituents calling for an end to this outdated practice. I ask my colleagues to support me in this endeavor and urge the new administration to sign this bill into law. By doing so, we will send a clear message that this legislative session is about common sense and doing what is just and right."
Langerholc recently circulated a new memorandum, calling for the county to be removed from the emissions requirement.
The Senate, in 2019, passed a bill, sponsored by Langerholc, to exempt Blair, Cambria, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mercer and Westmoreland counties from the test. Then, in 2021, another Langerholc bill to exempt the five newest model year vehicles from the emissions test also passed the Senate.
Neither got through the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.