July 23, 2007

Vancouver Port Authority unveils more stringent standards for container truck licensing

The Vancouver Port Authority (VPA) has introduced what it says are the most demanding container truck environmental and safety licensing standards in North America. The Port's new truck licensing system (TLS) will ban access by substandard trucks to port property and develop a safer, cleaner, more sustainable container truck fleet to service the Port's container facilities. The new provisions will come into effect January 1, 2008.

The new truck licence includes more stringent safety and environmental enforcement, data qualification and audit provisions to allow the VPA to prevent non-compliant or substandard equipment from accessing port property.

New environmental standards will require cleaner and more modern engine technology by phasing out the use of older container trucks. By January 1, 2008, the Port will no longer allow container trucks older than the 1989 model year access to its property, and by January 1, 2009, the VPA will prohibit access by container trucks older than 1994. The TLS will include an appeals process to consider older trucks that meet acceptable alternatives to reduce emissions.

Other new environmental provisions address opacity, idling and driver education. To qualify for a TLS beginning January 1, 2008, trucking companies will be required to pass increasingly stringent annual opacity checks conducted by provincially certified facilities and pass random checks throughout the year.

The Port will also enforce a new mandatory idle reduction provision on and around port property, and will introduce a compulsory annual driver education component to the truck licence.

As well, new safety enforcement standards within the Port's mandatory licensing system include a three-tiered approach based on a cumulative system of warnings and suspensions and, for the most serious offences over time, cancellation of a company's truck licence.

The new TLS fulfills a pledge the VPA made this spring to introduce industry-leading container truck safety and environmental standards, noted Chris Badger, the VPA's vice-president, customer development and operations. "This new version of the TLS exceeds existing provincial environmental standards and raises the bar for container truck safety at the Port of Vancouver," he said, adding, "These new standards will improve air quality in our communities and remove unsafe trucks from our roads."

The port of Vancouver is Canada's flagship port, trading $53 billion in goods with more than 100 trading economies annually. More information is available from Anne McMullin at the VPA, 604/665-9069, FAX 604/665-9073, E-mail anne.mcmullin@portvancouver.com.

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