Lee County residents may soon no longer be required to get an emissions test on their vehicle when renewing their registration, thanks efforts from the state and federal governments.

The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to approve a State Implementation Plan revision submitted by North Carolina to remove Lee, Onslow and Rockingham counties from the state’s motor vehicle inspection and maintenance program. Most other counties in the state already don’t require emissions tests.

The revision was published Friday by the Office of the Federal Register and is available for public comment for the next 30 days. The public comment period will end July 22.

The EPA will then publish its final approval in the Federal Register, addressing any public comments received, and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality secretary will submit a certification letter of the SIP approval by the EPA to the Revisor of Statutes.

Once these steps are completed, the state Division of Motor Vehicles must implement the program changes on the first day of a month that is 60 days after the DEQ Secretary certifies to the Revisor of Statutes that the EPA has approved the amendment to the SIP.

DEQ estimates for this action to become effective November 1.

To view the proposed rulemaking and for instructions to provide comments and ask questions, visit www.federalregister.gov/documents/2022/06/22/2022-13163/air-plan-approval-nc-inspection-and-maintenance-program.