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Subject: BCTA Responds to On-Road Diesel Emissions Test Results
(Posted on Apr 12, 2013 at 08:25AM by Media Manager)

British Columbia Trucking Association
Responds to On-Road Diesel Emissions Test Results

As the Metro Vancouver Environment & Parks Committee discussed the results of its On-Road Heavy Duty Vehicle Program at a regular meeting today, April 11, 2013, BCTA informed the media that the report on the program confirmed what we’ve said all along: a mandatory AirCare-like emissions testing program for trucks would be wasteful and unnecessary.

The On-Road Heavy Duty Vehicle Program tested emissions from over 11,700 semi-trailer trucks, dump trucks, motor coaches, and other heavy-duty vehicles from July to October 2012. According to the resulting report, Remote Sensing Device Trial for Monitoring Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions, most trucks tested are operating within the standards mandated for with their particular engine year, and emissions from newer trucks reflect the increasingly stringent engine emissions standards that were introduced in the 1990s and tightened significantly in 2007 and again in 2010.

In our media release responding to the report, Louise Yako, BCTA’s President & CEO, commented that, given the report’s findings, a “large-scale AirCare-like emissions testing program for trucks would impose unreasonable costs on the industry and produce very limited results.” She pointed to an emissions testing program for heavy-duty trucks in Ontario that has produced a failure rate of less than four percent. “As older trucks are retired and replaced with newer, cleaner trucks, diesel emissions will naturally decline over time, making an onerous and expensive testing program unnecessary.”

The report will be discussed by the full Metro Vancouver Board on April 26 with a recommendation to submit the report to the Minister of Environment requesting the development of policy and program options over the next two years for addressing air emissions from on-road heavy-duty vehicles, potentially including road-side vehicle emissions testing (although this is just one option). The Committee report noted that “costs, effectiveness and consistency with other objectives (for example, greenhouse gas emissions) will be key criteria in selecting an appropriate program to pursue.”

The study was commissioned by Metro Vancouver in collaboration with the Fraser Valley Regional District, AirCare, Port Metro Vancouver and the BC ministries of Environment and Transportation & Infrastructure.

For complete details, please see the report on the On-Road Heavy Duty Vehicle Program at the link above, which also includes the accompanying submission and recommendations to the Environment & Parks Committee. BCTA will provide an update in a future Bulletin.


In May 2012, BC Environment Minister Terry Lake announced that the government would phase out AirCare testing for light cars and trucks in the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley by the end of 2014. However, Metro Vancouver also commented at the same time that heavy-duty vehicle emissions would be the next target for reductions. BCTA defended the industry, saying that, among other improvements, US diesel engine standards have progressively required the reduction of particulate matter and other pollutants since 1990, regulations that have affected BC carriers, since most operate vehicles with US-manufactured engines.

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