October 11, 2004

Auto repair centre, president fined for False Drive Clean reports

WOODBRIDGE, ONT-A Woodbridge auto repair business and its president were fined a total of $5,000 and levied a victim fine surcharge after pleading guilty to four Environmental Protection Act charges relating to Ontario's Drive Clean program. At the time of the offences, Avanes Auto Centre was an accredited Drive Clean test facility and Richard Avanes was a certified Drive Clean inspector. In April 2003, the results of a Drive Clean test performed on a Chevrolet Cavalier were used to generate a passing emissions test report for a Plymouth Sundance. The false test results were then submitted electronically to Protect Air, a Ministry of Environment (MOE) agent. A subsequent investigation by MOE staff found that the company had also performed false tests and submitted false results in January and May 2003. Avanes Auto Centre was charged with three counts of submitting false or misleading information electronically to an agent of the ministry, contrary to section 184(2) of the Environmental Protection Act. Richard Avanes was charged with permitting the operation of a motor vehicle which did not comply with emissions standards, in violation of section 9(13)(1) of Ontario Regulation 361/98. A fine of $1,250 was imposed for each offence. In addition, Avanes Auto Centre has been suspended as an accredited Drive Clean facility for a period of 19 months, ending December 2004. Richard Avanes has been decertified as a Drive Clean inspector and is no longer qualified to conduct vehicle emissions testing in Ontario.
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