A ban on diesel-powered trucks more than 12 years old will take effect at the Port of Vancouver this fall.
After months of delays and additional consultation, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has confirmed its revised Rolling Age Truck Program will launch on Sept. 15.
“The container trucking sector plays a vital role in supporting Canada’s supply chains and keeping trade moving, but we also recognize that trucks produce emissions that have potentially harmful effects on residents,” said Robin Silvester, port authority president in a Wednesday news release.
“Our Rolling Truck Age Program aims to better protect communities’ health by significantly reducing emissions from port-related trucking activities.”
The program was initially set to begin in February, but drew backlash from the trucking industry, which expressed concern about the number of trucks it would keep out of the port. At the time, Unifor estimated that number at more than 340.
Truckers lamented the costs of replacing aged-out vehicles, which in the initial proposal, would have been banned at more than 10 years old, along with market shortages that could make it difficult to obtain new trucks. They also pointed out that most vehicles operate well below the allowable diesel emissions standards under B.C.’s Motor Vehicle Act.
The industry called on the federal government to intervene, and in January, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra asked the port authority to delay the program and gather more input from stakeholders.
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority conducted additional consultation with the industry, Indigenous groups, local governments, and more. It altered the original plan from a 10-year rolling truck age to a 12-year rolling truck age as a result of that engagement.
“The BC Trucking Association has been a long-time advocate for the reduction of environmental impacts from the commercial road transportation sector,” said its president, Dave Earle, in the news release.
“We believe that the most cost-effective and least disruptive measure that the industry can take to reduce our sector’s environmental impact is through accelerating fleet turnover.”
Global News has reached out to the United Truckers Association and Unifor for comment on this story.
According to the port authority, more than 80 per cent of the 1,800 vehicles entering the port are already compliant with its new requirements. Its goal is to become a zero-emissions operation by 2050, eventually become the world’s most sustainable port.
— with files from Simon Little