TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario will soon announce a re-designed emissions testing program for heavy-duty diesel vehicles, a government source has told Truck News.
The program, to be announced this fall, will focus on improving testing. It will also include new measures to prevent tampering with emissions control systems.
“Part of the redesigned program will include strengthened enforcement through increased on-road inspections, which will focus on heavy-duty diesel vehicles and heavily polluting modified vehicles to ensure that emissions control components are installed and functioning,” the source at the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks said.
In December, Reg. 361/98 (Motor Vehicles) under the Environmental Protection Act was amended to make current tampering restrictions applicable to out of province vehicles on Ontario roads.
Until then, the rule was applied only to Ontario-plated vehicles.
The government said the amendment created a level playing field between all transportation companies by making all users of roads subject to on-road enforcement.
During a recent fleet inspection, the ministry reported that officers had found that pollution control equipment on 13 trucks had been tampered with by one company.
“The company committed to an interim plan to repair the modified trucks, and in April 2019 the company completed all the necessary repairs,” it said.
Truckers have long complained about the problem-plagued emissions aftertreatment systems (ATS), which are mandatory on all new rigs.
They say qualified ATS technicians are few and far between, and owners are forced to tow their trucks to dealerships to fix minor problems on the supersensitive ATS sensors.
Industry lobbying groups have been calling for a crackdown on service providers who offer to remove the emission control systems and reprogram the engine to make it more “fuel efficient.”
In 2014, about 23% greenhouse gas emissions in Canada came from the transportation sector, and heavy-duty vehicles accounted for about 8% of total GHG emissions in the country, according to the government.