Emissions tampering enforcement ramps up in Ontario

TORONTO, Ont. – The Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has deployed its Vehicle Emissions Enforcement Unit to target trucks and shops that bypass emissions rules, and a crackdown is well underway.

Between April 1 2019 and Dec. 31 2019, MECP told Trucknews.com, a total of 2,532 vehicles and operators were assessed for compliance. The unit conducted 12 fleet inspections, of which nine failed. “We are using our enforcement tools to bring them into compliance,” MECP spokesman Gary Wheeler told Trucknews.com in an email.

The agency also inspected 155 heavy-duty vehicles with an out-of-province licence plate, of which 90 failed.

Ready, set, blow!: Enforcement officers in Quebec can measure truck emissions on the spot, using recently-acquired tools. Photo by Carroll McCormick

Wheeler said non-compliant vehicle owners can receive a ticket for $420, and receive an order to repair the vehicle. They can also have their plates taken away and their vehicle ordered towed to a repair facility.

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) commended the enforcement activity and has produced a tip sheet to educate operators and other members of the supply chain on the importance of compliance with emissions rules.

“MECP is doing a fantastic job with their current resources and enforcement mechanisms. We look forward to seeing the results of additional efforts to ensure we have clean air and fair competition in the province,” said Ontario Trucking Association chairman David Carruth. “Many carriers are bearing the cost of maintaining emission control equipment that is making the air we breathe better for all Ontarians. OTA congratulates Minister (Jeff) Yurek and Minister (Caroline) Mulroney for their environmental stewardship and ensuring environmental non-compliance has real consequences.”

The OTA also released some additional stats, noting the MECP has issued repair orders for more than 200 trucks, with the average repair value estimated to top $12,000, representing a total repair bill of more than $2.23 million.

In addition, two individuals have been convicted under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act with fines of $5,000 and $20,000. OTA also reported there have been 16 garage inspections.

MECP has set up a reporting line people can call to report smoking vehicles or those who have bypassed emissions control requirements. It is 888-758-2999.

“OTA encourages the industry to utilize this newly-developed method to target government enforcement on garages and carriers engaged in the practice of delete kits,” said Carruth. “Targeted enforcement can be swift and efficient if the compliant industry bands together to highlight those who need to be reminded that environmental compliance is not a business option, but a requirement.”

The tip sheet can be found here.


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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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  • I think emissions on all trucks should have lifetime warranty. I’m a truck mechanic and see the costs of parts every day. I bet if the manufacturer would build it to last longer people would not disable the system.
    Mark W

  • As an owner operator I’ve been on both sides ,deleted trucks with a fine tune thru ecm will run better, perform better , less fuel consumption and less sensor issues to keep you going down the road more profitable ,there is no check engine light , no $2-$3000 dollar Tow bill because of some faulty manufacturers sensor telling you it will shut you down in some remote area with no service shop around for miles
    That’s why we delete ! The garbage from the garbage so we can keep the economy moving and maybe at the end of the day put some food on your plate!

  • I think Gov’t should do something to control the expense. We pay carbon tax on fuel. The cost for to fix the def system is very high. They should find some cheaper options.

  • I read the article and also the tip sheet. Even government literature admits a 40% reduction in fuel and maintenance costs. I’m not sure if down time is factored in or not. I’m still curious about actual net numbers. If you burn less fuel and throw away less parts would the deleted vs. Stock net emissions not be similar? I’ve owned both deleted and not deleted and speaking from experience the emissions systems are frustrating to be polite. Some run well with little problems others spend more time in the shop than on the road. The down time is the thing that small operators have a hard time dealing with financially.