The Government of Ontario’s focus on tackling the use of delete kits and emissions tampering in heavy-duty trucks, as well as those who install, manufacture and sell tampering devices is showing results. The Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks’ (MECP) enforcement efforts are yielding a number of charges and convictions, illustrating the growing issue of emissions tampering within the province.
Between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, the MECP issued repair orders for over 200 trucks to have deficiencies corrected in their emissions systems. The average repair value of these actions is estimated at over $12,000 per vehicle, or a total repair bill of over $2.23 million.
From April 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, when new legislation for tackling emissions tampering and the use of delete kits was announced by the province, enforcement of regulations regarding tampering led to the following actions by MECP enforcement:
- Over 2500 vehicles/operators assessed for environmental compliance;
- The issuing of 620 tickets for vehicle emissions contraventions in Ontario;
- Conviction of two individuals under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act with fines of $5000 and $20,000, with one additional inspection referred for investigation;
- Completion of 12 fleet inspections and 16 garage inspections, with MECP in the process of assessing fleet/site compliance;
- Over 150 inspections on heavy-duty vehicles with an out-of-province licence plate. Nearly 60 per cent of these trucks were found to be non-compliant and subject to fines, abatement or other enforcement action.
“MECP is doing a fantastic job with their current resources and enforcement mechanisms. We look forward to seeing the results of additional efforts to ensure we have clean air and fair competition in the province,” says Ontario Trucking Association chair David Carruth. “Many carriers are bearing the cost of maintaining emission control equipment that is making the air we breathe better for all Ontarians. OTA congratulates Minister Yurek and Minister Mulroney for their environmental stewardship and ensuring environmental non-compliance has real consequences.”
To further aid in identifying emissions tampering in Ontario, MECP has also announced the introduction of a public reporting function for polluting vehicles. If a smoking vehicle is observed, a report can be filled out here, or you can notify the Emissions Test Contact Centre by calling 1-888-758-2999. A reporting form for businesses/technicians or garages that are suspected of vehicle tampering will be available in the coming weeks.
“OTA encourages the industry to utilize this newly-developed method to target government enforcement on garages and carriers engaged in the practice of delete kits,” added Carruth. “Targeted enforcement can be swift and efficient if the compliant industry bands together to highlight those who need to be reminded that environmental compliance is not a business option, but a requirement.”
Last year, MECP and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) announced the development of a newly enhanced emissions testing program targeting commercial trucks that are non-compliant with environmental regulations, and integrating the new program with the existing annual safety Motor Vehicle Inspection Station program in 2021.
MECP is also in the process of transferring responsibility for vehicle emission inspections and enforcement to the MTO for the future integrated program, drastically increasing its enforcement capabilities with hundreds of officers being trained to identify emissions tampering in the future.
“The Government of Ontario is taking meaningful action to improve air quality and reduce environmental non-compliance in our sector,” said OTA’s director of Policy, Lak Shoan. “We look forward to working with MECP and MTO on introducing regulations to further prohibit tampering and increase the scope of enforcement.”
OTA has also prepared a tip sheet for the supply chain that explains the environmental and competitive issues involved with emissions tampering, tips on potentially identifying deleted trucks, as well as possible business risks of partnering with companies that tamper with their emissions.