The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) is ramping up their enforcement powers by updating legislation to help combat the widespread use of delete kits and emissions tampering occurring in the province.
During recent amendment to the Ontario Environment Protection Act (OEPA) MECP made changes to their enforcement policies that makes tampering restrictions applicable to out of province vehicles on Ontario roads and now allows them to seize plates from any vehicle (regardless of domicile) where the emissions systems have been tampered with while operating in Ontario. Officers previously had the ability to seize plates/permits, however the legislation was only applicable to Ontario plated vehicles.
The OEPA amendment will also allow for the levying of larger administrative monetary penalties (AMPs) that can be issued by the ministry against companies found in non-compliance, instead of the traditional fines and tickets issued by Ontario Courts under the Provincial Offences Act.
MECP is in the process of also amending additional regulations under the OEPA to strengthen their enforcement abilities against those who sell, distribute and install delete kits in Ontario. Proposed amendments are expected later this year.
“These changes signify a true commitment on behalf of the provincial government to clean up our air and create a level playing field for all trucking businesses that are operating in Ontario, says Stephen Laskowski, president, Ontario Trucking Association. “These amendments are a great first step and will help ensure that all carriers that tamper with their emissions systems and pollute in our province will be held accountable for their actions,” added Laskowski.
Last year, the MECP announced the beginning of a consultation process to help redesign the heavy truck emissions program. OTA submitted comments to MECP regarding the redesign of the Drive Clean program, including stronger roadside enforcement on emissions and speed limiter component tampering. Trucks that are governed at 105 km/h have shown to provide significant GHG reductions, compared to those that are not.
It is anticipated that a draft regulation will be published later this year, along with the formation of an industry/government working group to deal with a number of technical issues related to the use of delete kits, enforcement and other areas.