GVRD opacity testing program to end

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VANCOUVER, B.C. — Funding for the Greater Vancouver Regional District’s (GVRD’s) heavy-duty vehicle testing program is being withdrawn as the program has been deemed unnecessary.

The B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) has been lobbying to can the program and re-allocate the funds about $400,000 to more worthwhile projects, based on the latest figures indicating the program is no longer required.

The program involves the testing of heavy-duty diesel vehicles that were seen visibly smoking. A mobile team would perform a snap-idle test on smoking trucks and if their opacity ratings were unacceptable the trucks would be placed out of service and re-tested within 30 days of being fixed.

With improvements in diesel engines in recent years, very few rigs have been found to be exceeding acceptable opacity limits. In fact, the percentage of trucks complying with smoke opacity rules has risen from 62 per cent in 1995 to 100 per cent in 2002. This is a trend expected to continue as engine manufacturers produce more environmentally-friendly engines.

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