The Government of Ontario announced a consultation process to redesign a heavy truck emissions control program, including stronger road-side enforcement focused on anti-tampering regulations as well as potential incentives for purchases of trucking environmental equipment. The proposed notice stated the program would address mandatory OBD testing; review vehicle age testing; emission opacity standards; anti-tampering standards as well as incentives for cleaner fleets.
The Environmental Registry Notice states the objective of this review is to develop an effective heavy-truck testing program while balancing the need to reduce the regulatory burden on impacted transportation industries. It stated the overall purpose of the process is to
“create a fair and a level playing field where all industry partners contribute to reducing heavy-duty diesel emissions and improving air quality. The Ford Government has established an excellent tone in policy and direction for how this review is to be conducted, “
said OTA president Stephen Laskowski. “The outcome of a fair and level playing field program that reduces regulatory tape for the trucking industry is very much in alignment with the objectives of OTA,” added Laskowski.
To achieve these important outcomes of reducing red tape and level playing-field enforcement, OTA will be exploring with government how current MTO enforcement policies and programs could be better utilized with regards to environmental matters. OTA will be constantly reminding all stakeholders involved in this review the trucking industry is the greenest transportation mode in terms of mandatory emissions controls on commercial equipment and that the environmental challenge in the trucking sector comes from a small segment of non-compliant operators that use certain aftermarket products, often referred to as delete kits, to circumvent environmental controls.
“Getting this technology out of our industry would be a significant victory for competitive fairness. OTA looks forward to working with the Ministry of Environment on tackling this important issue through the development of an effective program that levels the playing field without introducing an unnecessary regulatory burden for the vast majority of compliant carriers,” said Laskowski.
Since 2000, Ontario’s trucking industry have invested billions of dollars in capital and operating expenses to run mandated engines that virtually eliminate particulates and smog-causing emissions. New environmental controls also significantly reduce carbon, leading to what the EPA refers to as the modern, zero-emissions engine. Additionally, OTA is encouraged with plans for an incentive program to improve market penetration of leading-edge environmental equipment and carbon-cutting technology into the sector.
To assist in this consultation over the next six months, OTA will be forming working groups of members, equipment suppliers and carriers, and other stakeholder to provide input into this important process.