Drive Clean enforcement unfair to Ontario truckers, OTA says

TORONTO (April 26) — Ontario’s plan to test the emissions of heavy-duty trucks and buses does not go far enough to catch grossly polluting vehicles based outside the province, the Ontario Trucking Association said.

While it supports the roadside testing component of the province’s Drive Clean program, the OTA still has “enormous concerns over annual testing from a cost-effectiveness and competitiveness point of view,” said association president David Bradley.

“Indeed, we proposed an alternative program that would have retained annual testing for older, mechanical engines, but would have given a break to the new, electronic engines that are smoke-free. That would not have given us the level playing field we need to compete with carriers from elsewhere, but at least it would have reduced our costs somewhat.”

The OTA also criticized Environment Minister Norm Sterling, who said implementation of the program was delayed from last year because the ministry wanted to assure Ontario truckers that out-of-province operators would also be required to comply with the new laws.

“We are at a loss with respect to who the minister made assurances to,” said Bradley. “It certainly was not OTA.

“The reality is that U.S. trucks and trucks from other provinces — which on any given day can account for 30% of the vehicles on Ontario’s roadways — are not required to undergo the costly annual emissions testing requirements. The rules apply only to Ontario-registered vehicles.”

Bradley said there is no enforcement procedure in place to ensure that out-of-province trucks make the necessary repairs.

“The reality is that MOE has no meaningful mechanism in place to ensure that out-of-province trucks will be tested.”

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