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PATAKI ASKS EPA TO DELAY START OF EMISSIONS TESTING

Gov. Pataki has asked the federal government to give the state at least two more years to implement an auto emissions testing system mandated under the federal Clean Air Act.

In the letter last week to Carol Browner, administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, Pataki also asked that the state be spared sanctions that federal officials have threatened to impose starting in November if the testing system is not in operation.

Pataki said that his administration is developing revised testing plans but that meeting an August deadline to issue regulations for the program is impossible, the Albany Times Union reported Saturday.

Pataki asked Ms. Browner for authorization to substitute a different emissions testing concept in some parts of the state -- mainly north of the metropolitan New York area. The Times Union said Pataki eventually could seek to escape the emissions testing requirement altogether upstate.

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