MARKHAM, IL — The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has resumed vehicle emissions testing at its site near 159th and Pulaski in Markham. Testing returned to the facility at 3824 W. 159th Place on June 15, according to the EPA.
The Markham site had been used as a community COVID-19 testing site from when emissions testing stopped when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic in mid-March until last month. Both the Markham and Waukegan vehicle emissions testing sites reopened Monday, two weeks after all other testing sites in the state returned on June 1.
“We saw a great response following the reopening of a majority of our testing locations on June1, and we expect that momentum to continue with the reopening of the remaining two locations,” Illinois EPA Director John Kim said. “Our priority remains protecting motorists and staff at these sites, and we are asking motorists to follow the published schedule to reduce traffic congestion near stations and overall wait times.”
Deadlines on all Illinois vehicle emissions testing registrations have been extended for three months, so those who had theirs expire in March should be the ones testing in June the EPA said.
The Markham site has also set aside special hours — from 8-9 a.m. Monday-Friday and 7:30-8:30 a.m. Saturday — for healthcare workers, first responders, those 65 years old and older and others with pre-existing health conditions to test.
Illinois Air Team staff will wear masks and practice social distancing, while requiring customers be limited to one person per vehicle and no pets.
State Sen. Napoleon Harris was among the elected officials to comment on the facility's reopening.
“With the Illinois Secretary of State resuming services, people have to get emissions tests on their vehicles,” Harris said. “I want the south suburbs to be able to do their part in protecting the environment, and that will only happen if they can access a testing site near them.”