Changes to the commercial vehicle program within the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (MOEP) will make Ontario the leader in North America for enforcing heavy truck emission rules, says the Ontario Trucking Association.
Proposed changes contained in the Red Tape Reduction bill announced yesterday by Associate Minister Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction are aimed at effectively cutting emissions from trucking while reducing red tape for carriers, says Ontario Trucking Association president Stephen Laskowski.
The Red Tape measure highlights the MECP regulation proposal of a phased-in approach that will align environmental testing of trucks’ emissions control systems with MTO’s Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection requirement. The combined safety and emissions inspections would be required annually, starting when a vehicle is first registered in Ontario. Part of the inspection will require a physical and electronic emissions system-tampering test. The Government of Ontario will be working with all stakeholders to develop these testing protocols prior to implementation in 2021. OTA is also working with MTO and MECP to ensure that annual inspections, which include anti-tampering checks, are electronically linked so that MTO and MECP officers will be able to determine at roadside the technician and facility which last inspected/passed the vehicle for which tampering was discovered.
Meanwhile, MECP are working with new enforcement powers at roadside that allows inspectors to pull plates from tampered heavy-duty vehicles, regardless of plated jurisdiction. MTO and MECP are working towards training MTO enforcement officers to enforce tampering rules as well. This same regulation, passed in the spring, also makes it illegal to manufacture, sell, and install tampering devices in the province of Ontario. For the first time in Ontario, those who enable environmentally, non-compliant trucking operators will safe significant consequences, OTA says.
“This program will bring real, effectual enforcement and tangible reductions to heavy-duty diesel emissions. said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “When these regulations are passed, Ontario will be the first jurisdiction in North America to inspect vehicles at roadside for emissions tampering as well as during their annual safety inspection.
“This momentous cooperation between MTO and MECP will dramatically improve environmental enforcement in our sector while reducing red tape,” says Laskowski. “Everyone wins – except, of course, the minority of carriers and operators within our sector who believe that environmental non-compliance and emissions tampering is an acceptable business strategy.”
Canadian heavy-duty commercial truck engines and equipment are heavily regulated from for air quality and carbon emissions, which has dramatically reduced the overall carbon and environmental impact of the trucking industry. It is, therefore, imperative that industry and government ensure that regulated clean-air technologies are not tampered with or deleted from heavy trucks, says OTA.
“OTA would like to applaud Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria, Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation and Francophone Affairs, Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for their leadership on this issue. The Government of Ontario is not only reducing red tape, but they are showing strong leadership on cleaning Ontario’s air and focusing enforcement on the minority of trucking firms that require attention,” said OTA Chair David Carruth. “Everyone who is looking for effective and common-sense leadership from governments in making significant environmental impact on transportation emissions should be applauding this measure.”