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July 20, 2010 > Vehicle buy-back program

Vehicle buy-back program

Submitted By Kristine Roselius

On July 12, 2010, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the regional agency chartered with protecting air quality in the nine-county Bay Area region, is announced availability of a $5.5M fund for the Vehicle Buy Back Program in the nine-county Bay Area region of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, southwestern Solano and southern Sonoma counties.

Residents with vehicles model year 1989 and older are eligible for $1,000 to voluntarily retire these older higher polluting cars. Older vehicles lack modern emission control technology and pollute significantly more than newer models.

"Pollution from automobiles accounts for more than half of the air pollution and greenhouse gas problem in the Bay Area" said Jack Broadbent, executive officer of the Air District. "Older vehicles, even when they pass smog check, pollute more than newer engines, making air quality unhealthy in our neighborhoods."

To participate in the Vehicle Buy Back Program, vehicles must be 1989 model year or older, currently registered as operable and can be driven, have been registered in the Bay Area for the past 24 months and vehicles within 60 days of a required smog check must take and pass their smog check. A complete list of program eligibility requirements is available at

Since 1996, the Vehicle Buy Back Program has retired more than 50,000 cars and trucks. For each vehicle removed from Bay Area roads, an estimated 75 pounds of air pollution is prevented from being emitted into the air annually.

Among the air pollutants reduced by the Vehicle Buy Back Program are fine particles, or PM 2.5, and ozone - the main ingredients in smog. These pollutants contribute to respiratory diseases and increased mortality rates. This program also reduces greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, the primary gas responsible for climate change.

Interested individuals can call 1-888-690-CASH (690-2274) toll-free for the names and phone numbers of the local auto dismantlers to determine if their vehicle qualifies.

For general information about the Vehicle Buy Back Program, visit

For information about the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, visit

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