San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Study: Vehicle Inspections Help Reduce Air Pollution

EXPERTS had estimated gas emissionsin Costa Rica this year would amountto 80,000 tons of carbon monoxide.However, this year’s emissions mayamount to only 37,700 tons – 47% of theexpected total – thanks to the mandatorytechnical vehicle inspections conducted bythe private firm Riteve SyC, according to a2005 projection assembled by the ministriesof Public Works and Transport (MOPT),Public Health, and Environment andEnergy (MINAE) with the assistance of theGerman Technical Cooperation (GTZ).“We took the (emissions) data collectedfor one month – in this case, March – toproduce (an estimate) to represent the entireyear,” GTZ local project advisor FedericoCorrales told The Tico Times Wednesday.Analysts based the estimate on100,000 technical inspection reports fromthe months of March from 2003-2005 inthe greater San José area.Riteve, a controversial Spanish-CostaRican company contracted by the governmentto conduct the mandatory inspections,began operating in July 2002 amidstmobs of angry taxi drivers, farmers andother citizens who protested the inspections’demanding standards. Opponentswent on strike again last year to protesthaving to pay the Riteve fee again for reinspectionfollowing a failed inspection(TT, August 27, 2004).According to Public TransportMinister Randall Quirós, Riteve hashelped reduce contamination because theobligatory inspection – which must beconducted every six months, year or twoyears depending on the vehicle –improves maintenance.“Riteve has provided us with a positiveenvironmental impact,” he told members ofthe press Tuesday at a presentation of theproject conclusions at the Radisson EuropaHotel in San José. “Rejected vehicles mustreturn for additional inspections until theymeet the established parameters. Theinspection motivates vehicles’ renewal.”The study also projects that Riteveinspections will generate savings of atleast 4.7 million liters of gas for the countrythis year, which in theory means everycar owner would save $200 a year, comparedto the approximately $50 that mustbe invested in the technical inspection.

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