THE Vancouver Fraser Port Authority announced on Wednesday that its Rolling Truck Age Program will go into effect on September 15, following additional stakeholder engagement earlier this year.
The port authority said that old, diesel-powered trucks are a significant source of particulate matter, which is known to cause cancer. There are currently older container trucks serving the Port of Vancouver, some more than 20 years old. The Rolling Truck Age Program phases out older container trucks serving the port, for the benefit of the region’s air quality and local communities’ health.
“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, President and CEO of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority. “Our Rolling Truck Age Program aims to better protect communities’ health by significantly reducing emissions from port-related trucking activities.”
The port authority said that the Rolling Truck Age Program will cap the age of container trucks serving the port to support safer, more reliable trucks and cleaner air for communities in the region. The current fleet provides an average of 30,000 single-sided port moves per week. Once implemented, the program is expected to significantly reduce air emissions from trucking activities in the region, including: an estimated 93% decrease in particulate matter, which is a known carcinogenic air pollutant; an estimated 80% decrease in nitrogen oxides, which are smog-forming pollutants; and a 2.5% decrease in carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
The port authority began engaging the trucking sector in 2012 toward the development of a defined Rolling Truck Age Program and considered several approaches in consultation with industry. Based on industry input, together with consideration of health and environmental factors, in 2015, the port authority advised industry of the upcoming Rolling Truck Age Program.
The program’s start date was scheduled for February 1, 2022. In January 2022, however, federal Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra asked the port authority to consider a short delay to seek further input on the implementation plan from stakeholders. In response, the port authority conducted two rounds of public engagement with Truck Licensing System (TLS) participants, industry associations and stakeholders, Indigenous groups, local government, and community organizations to help inform a revised implementation plan.
“Global supply chains, including those in Canada, have faced unprecedented challenges in recent months, ” said Alghabra. “To ensure communities across Canada receive essential goods on time, our supply chains must remain resilient. Our government welcomes the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s decision to introduce a revised Rolling Truck Age Program in September 2022, after an extended consultation period with impacted drayage truckers. This will ensure that the trucking industry has more time to implement the new rules without causing any disruptions to the movement of our supply chains, while also having positive impacts on the environment. We will continue working with industry partners to make our supply chains stronger and more sustainable.”
Approximately 80% of the 1,800 vehicles serving the port are already compliant with the new requirements, including 150 trucks that have come into service since the port authority began additional engagement over the last few months.
“We commend and thank truck owners and companies for working with us on this important program, and we look forward to seeing this program deliver cleaner air for our communities.” Silvester said.
During the port authority’s extensive engagement process with stakeholders, many municipalities, Indigenous groups, communities and industry organizations expressed support for the program.
“The BC Trucking Association has been a long-time advocate for the reduction of environmental impacts from the commercial road transportation sector,” said Dave Earle, President and CEO for the BC Trucking Association, which represents more than 1,000 companies operating more than 15,000 commercial vehicles. ”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. We applaud the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority for their Rolling Truck Age Program, an important initiative that encourages our industry to adopt cleaner, lower emission vehicles.”
The port authority said that the Rolling Truck Age Program is one way it is working to fulfill its federal mandate to enable Canada’s trade through the Port of Vancouver, while protecting the environment and considering local communities. It is also in line with the port authority’s goal to develop a zero-emission port by 2050, in support of its vision for the Port of Vancouver to be the world’s most sustainable port.
For more information about the program, visit https://www.portvancouver.