Ontario moves to restrict emissions tampering

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Emissions Testing
Jeff Yurek makes the announcement in North York on Tuesday.

NORTH YORK, Ont. — The Ontario Government has officially launched plans to align the testing of emissions control systems with Periodic Mandatory Commercial Vehicle Inspection requirements, beginning June 2021.

The annual requirements will begin when a vehicle is first registered in Ontario, and will be completed through an electronic-based system that produces a single digital document.

The approach is meant to help eliminate the use of DPF “delete kits” and other forms of emissions tampering.

“By combining the emissions and safety inspection into one digital-based test, we are making life easier and more convenient for owners of heavy-duty diesel commercial trucks and buses,” said Kinga Surma, associate transportation minister.

The announcement was made earlier today at Carmen Transportation Group’s terminal in North York, including representatives of the Ontario Trucking Association; Environment, Conservation and Parks Minister Jeff Yurek; Small Business and Red Tape Reduction Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria, and Surma.

The plans had already been announced as part of a Red Tape Reduction bill that was unveiled in October.

“The government of Ontario is introducing the most impactful enforcement measures in Canada with regards to reducing and targeting harmful emissions from non-compliant vehicles,” said Stephen Laskowski, president of the Ontario Trucking Association. “By introducing an on-road enforcement regime focused on tampering, along with the development of an integrated annual safety and environmental inspection program for heavy trucks, the province of Ontario is leading on the reduction of smog-causing pollution and reducing unnecessary red tape for all trucking companies in Ontario.”

“This program will reduce red tape on our business and effectively target non-compliant trucking companies that tamper with their emissions and ensure those who pollute in our province are held accountable for their actions,” added Carmen Transportation president Vince Tarantini.

The Ontario Trucking Association says it is working with the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks to ensure the annual inspections and anti-tampering checks are electronically connected. This is meant to help roadside inspectors determine the technician and facility that last inspected and passed a vehicle.

The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks has the power to pull plates off heavy-duty vehicles when emissions tampering is identified, no mater what jurisdiction plated the vehicle.

As of Jan. 1, Ontario will also make it illegal to produce, sell or install tampering devices.

While Ontario cancelled its Drive Clean emissions program for aging light-duty vehicles, annual emissions tests are still required to renew the registrations on equipment with gross vehicle weights above 4,500 kg and at least seven model years old.


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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking, trucknews.com, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • Folks:
    While commending your courage, this will create a more level competitive playing field for Fully Compliant carriers vs the Non Complaint ones.

    • You’re brainwashed pal! As for the level competitive playing field, since when should we all be basically regulated on how much money we can or can’t earn! Business is business! As for the emissions, deletes aren’t happening to create an advantage when it comes to earning potential. Do you own an emissions truck? Do you know and understand the costs involved on repairing and maintaining these systems? I don’t believe you have a clue! Why is it that the trucking industry is being picked on? How about the airlines? Ships? Rail? Ya. That’s right! An easy group to go after! The rest aren’t so easy are they?

      • Couldn’t have said it better myself. This is totally being driven by large trucking companies that are trying to knock out the smaller ones. Level playing field my ass. I’m embarrassed to say that I live in Ontario. Vehicle emmisions arent the reason this world is going to hell.

  • Hello I have a question, will older trucks that are pre emissioned eventually have to have an emissions system on them ( commercial vehicles such as a truck axle dump truck ? I have a few other questions as well if I get a response I would love to ask a few more

    • if its pre emissions then you don’t have to worry you’re grandfathered in but i think you still need an e test it just wont be as strict as the newer ones if i right. just make sure the truck runs clean

  • If the system worked and didn’t put the trucks down so often and cost thousands of dollars companies wouldn’t have to tamper with the system the way to make it better is the government should cover the cost of repairs on the def system time to put the carbon tax to work