Polluting trucks not welcome in B.C.

VANCOUVER — B.C.’s AirCare On-Road (ACOR) Program is moving from an educational system to an enforcement system by introducing fines to drivers of high-polluting commercial diesel trucks.

Two mobile testing units will conduct spot checks on the road and periodic enforcement at inspection stations across the province. If the vehicle exceeds legislated emission standards, the driver will be issued a $95 fine and a warning to obtain mechanical repairs within 14 days.

The units are operated by certified ACOR inspectors with the transportation ministry’s Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE), who have the authority to stop commercial trucks that are emitting smoke.

“The exhaust from diesel vehicles contains particulate matter, which damages our health and our environment,” said Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon. “We want to reduce smog-forming emissions from heavy trucks across B.C., and that’s why we are launching a new system of issuing fines to high-polluters.”

ACOR inspectors use the standard snap acceleration test to measure the opacity (how much light is blocked by the smoke) of diesel emissions. The test is accepted in North America as the standard test for identifying malfunctioning diesel engines. Higher opacity readings are connected with higher particulate matter emissions.

Last year, B.C. became the first province in Canada to make emissions reduction technology mandatory in older commercial transport diesel vehicles.

“It’s in the best interest of truck drivers to keep their vehicles running cleanly,” said Falcon. “A well-maintained diesel engine means cleaner air, lower fuel costs, lower maintenance and a longer engine life.”

The ACOR team takes requests from companies to visit their sites and inspect their trucks. Carriers can contact the ACOR office to make arrangements for a site visit.

The cost of the program will be approximately $300,000 per year and the province has even set up a hotline for citizens to report excessively smoking trucks.

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