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Bay Area air district offering buyback program for older, high-polluting vehicles

Residents can receive up to $1,200

Combustion fumes coming out of a car exhaust pipe. Courtesy Getty Images.

Bay Area residents with a vehicle made before 1999 can receive up to $1,200 as part of a buyback program to improve local air quality, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Monday.

The buyback program will pay owners of older cars and small trucks to voluntarily get rid of them. Vehicles made before 1999 often lack modern carbon emission controls and have higher air pollution rates than newer vehicles, according to the air district.

To qualify for the program, vehicles must be the 1998 model year or older, registered in the Bay Area for the last 24 months and currently drivable. Vehicles must also be smog certified.

"Transportation remains the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area and scrapping older vehicles helps limit harmful tailpipe emissions in the air we breathe," said Sharon Landers, the air district's interim executive officer.

The air district has retired more than 90,000 vehicles via its buyback program since 1996, removing an estimated 75 pounds of air pollution per vehicle per year.

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Information about the buyback program can be found at baaqmd.gov.

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Bay Area air district offering buyback program for older, high-polluting vehicles

Residents can receive up to $1,200

by Eli Walsh / Bay City News Foundation /

Uploaded: Tue, Nov 29, 2022, 10:02 am

Bay Area residents with a vehicle made before 1999 can receive up to $1,200 as part of a buyback program to improve local air quality, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District announced Monday.

The buyback program will pay owners of older cars and small trucks to voluntarily get rid of them. Vehicles made before 1999 often lack modern carbon emission controls and have higher air pollution rates than newer vehicles, according to the air district.

To qualify for the program, vehicles must be the 1998 model year or older, registered in the Bay Area for the last 24 months and currently drivable. Vehicles must also be smog certified.

"Transportation remains the largest source of air pollution in the Bay Area and scrapping older vehicles helps limit harmful tailpipe emissions in the air we breathe," said Sharon Landers, the air district's interim executive officer.

The air district has retired more than 90,000 vehicles via its buyback program since 1996, removing an estimated 75 pounds of air pollution per vehicle per year.

Information about the buyback program can be found at baaqmd.gov.

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