But some organizations say the process is time-consuming, and expensive for those who must pay for costly repairs if their vehicle fails the test.
The Clean Air Act requires Northern Virginia motorists to have their vehicle emissions tested every two years. But completing the testing requires an estimated two hours - which greatly impacts costs and productivity. Since several regions of the state will likely be required to implement emissions monitoring soon, the Joint Commission on Technology and Science is examining more efficient and cost-effective alternatives.
Delegate Tom Rust says a bill to set up a pilot program for a technology called "remote testing" failed last year.
"A number of businesses interests who do this kind of work had some real concerns about how accurate it is and so forth," says Rust. "So this is the beginning. This is step one, taking a look at the issue and seeing if we can resolve it."
When a vehicle fails the test, it must be repaired before it can be registered again. If Virginia does not comply with the regulations--the state would lose federal funding and fall under closer EPA scrutiny.