OTA hails Ontario plan to integrate emissions, safety inspections

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has applauded Ontario government for a proposal the trucking group believes would curtail the use of Driver Inc. by carriers who subscribe to a business model of non-compliance. The proposal tackles the issue of climate change and emissions tampering by modernizing vehicle inspections and integrating emissions testing for commercial vehicles in Ontario.

Under changes put forward by the Ministry of Transportation, the integration of the emissions and annual safety inspection program will create a streamlined ‘one test, one result’ approach. (Photo: iStock)

OTA in a news release said the proposal is a victory for the environment and means the noncompliant industry will begin to face consequences for illegally deploying delete kits that pollute the environment to lower operating and maintenance costs of greener equipment. Under changes put forward by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the integration of the emissions and annual safety inspection program will create a streamlined “one test, one result” approach, which will digitize the collection of inspection results, allow certificates to be issued in a digital format, and create an efficient process for businesses that will provide sophisticated safety inspection data to the province.

The ministry is proposing to enhance diesel emission inspection requirements by introducing tighter opacity standards for 2011 and newer commercial vehicles; an advisory on-board diagnostic inspection for 2016 and newer commercial trucks where universal emissions data is measurable; and visual checks for critical emissions components on all vehicles where required. The regulatory changes would also replace the current Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program with a contractual model, providing increased oversight on MVIS stations to ensure compliance with the new program and its inspection requirements. Violations of program rules could lead to stations being removed from the program.

Technicians will also conduct new enhanced inspections with specialized software, which will increase data collection and provide oversite on technicians conducting inspections. “The OTA strongly supports the Government of Ontario for their leadership and commitment to tackling climate change and heavy-truck emissions in our province, through this innovative and streamlined approach,” said Wendell Erb, OTA chairman, president and CEO Erb Group of Companies.  “These regulations will help ensure that delete kits and non-compliance will not be an acceptable business strategy to the detriment of our environment, health and quality of life.”

MTO will also continue its robust on-road enforcement on emissions tampering, which includes out-of-province trucks with deleted emissions controls.

With additional enforcement powers being given to MTO officers, the ministry expects enforcement efforts to continue to expand in the coming months.