ARLINGTON, Texas – One of the most successful air quality programs in North Texas will soon reach a milestone that reflects its significance to both the region and its residents.

The AirCheckTexas Drive a Clean Machine Program, which provides assistance to qualifying motorists who need to repair or replace their high-polluting cars and trucks, will celebrate its 25,000th replaced vehicle this spring.

“AirCheckTexas has shown dramatic results since the Texas Legislature approved it almost a decade ago,” said Jason Brown, air quality operations manager at the North Central Texas Council of Governments. “The replacement of the 25,000th vehicle is evidence that a program aimed at improving air quality can have a positive effect on North Texans pocketbooks. We appreciate the dealers, repair facilities and residents who made this exciting milestone a reality.”

With $3,000 vouchers ($3,500 for hybrids), North Texans who meet the income criteria and whose vehicles meet certain requirements may replace their old vehicles with newer, cleaner-burning ones. A single person with take-home pay of $32,670 per year qualifies and a family of four with a net income of $67,050 is also eligible.

Through the cooperation of 180 repair facilities and 363 auto dealerships, the program has helped improve air quality and save vehicle owners money with more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. Since the program began, in 2002, more than 97,000 North Texans have applied for the $3,000 vouchers or $600 vouchers toward emissions-related repairs. The program has led to more than $364 million in automobile sales in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since it began.

The program is funded by a portion of the emissions inspection fee paid by residents of the nine nonattainment counties – Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant. AirCheckTexas has helped more than 5,000 North Texans replace their vehicles in the past year alone.

Beneficiaries’ vehicles must be registered in one of the nine nonattainment counties to qualify for assistance. Recipients of the vouchers have not only saved money on the purchase of their vehicles, but, with newer, more efficient vehicles, motorists may spend less on gas and maintenance.

Those who receive help with repairs may subsequently pass the emissions test and drive vehicles they know are doing their part for air quality. For more program information and to apply, visit www.nctcog.org/airchecktexas or call 800-898-9103.

NCTCOG is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.

NCTCOG’s purpose is to strengthen both the individual and collective power of local governments and to help them recognize regional opportunities, eliminate unnecessary duplication and make joint decisions.??

NCTCOG serves a 16-county region of North Central Texas, which is centered on the two urban centers of Dallas and Fort Worth. Currently, NCTCOG has 240 member governments including 16 counties, 170 cities, 24 school districts and 30 special districts.