s AirCare program to end after 20 years

The provincial government announced Thursday that the 20 year old AirCare will stop tailpipe testing of light cars and trucks at the end of 2014 and turn its attention to heavy duty diesel vehicles.Passenger vehicles are exempt from the program for the first seven model years. Drivers of vehicles manufactured before 1992 pay $23 each year for tests while owners of newer vehicles pay $46 for tests every two years after the seven year exemption.Lake called the fees a significant cost to families."When governments have programs that are in place, I think it's responsible to say 'OK, have we achieved the objective?' and if we have, let's phase that out and look at other areas where we can make some better improvements to those objectives," he said.AirCare was introduced in 1992 because of warnings from experts that Vancouver's air quality would be worse than that of Los Angeles by 2010.There were plenty detractors of the new requirement that drivers demonstrate they had recently passed an emissions test before being given their auto insurance.Besides costing motorists money in fees and mechanical repairs, the annual or biennial AirCare test was an inconvenience and a source of anxiety for car owners who wondered whether their car would pass the test.Among those who detested AirCare was Vancouver Sun columnist Doug Sagi who called the new program "AirScare."In a 1992 column, Sagi lamented the program was here to stay because the "total scrapping of the silly scheme is . as doubtful as the emergence of common sense as the dominant rule of human behaviour."Sagi said "the fact that it is a stupid program that will have only marginal to minimal effect on motor vehicle pollution is being overlooked."A poll conducted for The Sun in 1994 captured the public's ambivalence over anti emissions measures. The survey found that 75 per cent of British Columbians wanted tougher anti air pollution laws and nearly 84 per cent of respondents were willing to pay more for cars with higher emissions standards.But only 65 per cent wanted AirCare to remain in place.The government mandated program drew the ire of the Fraser Institute which urged the province to scrap it, calling it a waste of money.The right wing think tank estimated in a 1998 study that AirCare cost $63 million a year in tests, fees, repair costs, expenses and lost time, while only reducing emissions that would cause $500,000 worth of damage annually.In 2000 TransLink cited evidence the AirCare program had led to a 30 per cent reduction in auto pollution.But TransLink also acknowledged improved emission controls meant newer vehicles rarely failed the AirCare test.So the agency in charge of AirCare passed a new testing and fee structure in 2000, in which owners of newer vehicles would escape annual AirCare tests in favour of a biennial test that would cost twice as much.The AirCare program found more than 40,000 vehicles failed an AirCare inspection in 2011 more than half of them for the first time.AirCare general manager Dave Gourley said earlier this year the program "has significantly reduced vehicle emissions and helped to improve the air quality in this region. van cleef and arpels heart necklace copy This is not propaganda but a fact supported by numerous independent audits of the program."The province's decision to shift gears at AirCare comes despite a Metro Vancouver van cleef necklace butterfly fake committee's recommendation in 2010 that the program be extended to 2020, warning that ending AirCare would put air quality at risk.AirCare's new focus on heavy duty diesel vehicles, however, does follow recent passage of a Metro Vancouver bylaw aimed at reducing emissions from knock off van cleef alhambra mother of pearl necklace backhoes, excavators, forklifts and other diesel powered machines."Addressing major sources of contamination, and diesel particulates is certainly . key to managing and improving air quality," said Metro Vancouver chairman Greg Moore.He said working with the provincial government to reduce emissions from heavy duty vehicles is the next step in that process."AirCare helps everyone breathe easier, so we welcome the decision to introduce heavy duty vehicle testing," said union president Darryl Walker.

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