Wash. to end vehicle emissions tests by 2020

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SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington state is getting out of the business of testing vehicle emissions.

The Ecology Department says that by 2020 it will stop requiring the tests. John Raymond, who's worked on the state's emissions program since it began in 1981, tells KIRO-TV (http://bit.ly/n1S9T8 ) that Washington's air quality has improved a lot since then, and vehicles are much cleaner than they used to be.

Drivers will be spared the $15 fee that comes with the testing. About 1 million vehicles are tested each year in the state's five most populous counties, including King, Pierce and Snohomish.

Emissions testing will end in phases. Drivers will know they're off the hook when they stop getting notices in the mail.