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Ontario’s  vehicle emissions control program, Drive Clean, is getting a tuneup.

Amendments to Ontario Regulation 361/98[i] (Motor Vehicles) under the Environmental Protection Act will modernize the Drive Clean program.[ii] By December 12, 2012, the Acceleration Simulation Mode (dynamometer) tailpipe test will be replaced with: [iii],[iv]

1.     On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) emissions test standards and equipment for  cars built since 1998 and;

2.     Two-speed idle (TSI) tailpipe test standards and equipment for 1988 to 1997 model vehicles. (Pre-1988 vehicles are not subject to Drive Clean.)

The new tests will be phased in between November 2011 and December 2012. The Ministry expects them to provide higher test accuracy, more details and quicker results,  and to flag emissions system faults before  they cause serious problems.  In addition, the ministry expects the new tests to cut smog causing pollutants from newer vehicles by  an extra 20%. Older vehicles should see a  7% improvement by 2013.[v]

Drive Clean has helped to offset the steady increase in vehicle  kilometers driven by reducing the pollution emitted per kilometer,  especially of nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydrocarbons (HCs), and greenhouse gases – the biggest contributors to smog and climate change.[vi]

The amendments  will also require improved repair technician training and effectiveness, beginning November 1, 2011.[vii],[viii] A request for proposals was posted on MERX Canadian Public Tenders service

by the ministry.[ix]


[i] Ontario Regulation 191/10 under the Environmental Protection Act. Service Ontario e-laws. At http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/regs/english/2010/elaws_src_regs_r10191_e.htm

[ii] Environmental Registry. (June 7, 2010). Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment, At http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA3OTk2&statusId=MTY1MTgx&language=en

[iii] Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment. Service Ontario Regulatory Registry, At http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=2242&language=en

[iv] Environmental Registry. (June 7, 2010). Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment, At http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA3OTk2&statusId=MTY1MTgx&language=en

[v] Environmental Registry. (June 7, 2010). Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment, At http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA3OTk2&statusId=MTY1MTgx&language=en

[vi] Environmental Registry. (June 7, 2010). Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment, At http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA3OTk2&statusId=MTY1MTgx&language=en

[vii] Environmental Registry. (January 28, 2010). Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment, At http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTA3OTk2&statusId=MTYyMjUw&language=en

[viii] Drive Clean Regulatory Amendment. Service Ontario Regulatory Registry, At http://www.ontariocanada.com/registry/view.do?postingId=2242&language=en

[ix] Ministry of the Environment. Modernizing Drive Clean: Information for Drive Clean Facilities. Air, At http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/en/air/driveclean/facilities.php

By  Dianne Saxe and  Jessica Yuan

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