Re: Elimination of AirCare is long overdue, June 21.
Your editorial on AirCare fails to appreciate the importance of the program for protecting our environment and building a sustainable economy.
Rather than buying the government’s line that we don’t need to worry about emissions anymore, we only need to look up on a poor-air-quality day to realize that there are cars and trucks on the road that are polluting more than is warranted.
Contrary to your assertion that there aren’t enough older vehicles on the road for AirCare to examine, the program catches close to 40,000 vehicles with emission problems each year. Without testing, that number will compound from one year to the next, growing exponentially.
AirCare does a good job of protecting our environment and atmosphere. According to a Sierra Research/SENES Consulting report to the AirCare review committee in 2010, AirCare is keeping 30,000 tonnes of toxic carbon monoxide emissions and 3,400 tonnes of smog-forming pollutants out of our atmosphere. And an independent review from the same year concluded the program would continue to be effective until at least 2020.
Economically, AirCare repairs and preventative maintenance pumps $35 million of revenue per year into our local automotive repair industry.
AirCare should be expanded to include heavy trucks and diesel engines for a safer, cleaner airshed, but one set of emitters shouldn’t be swapped for another.
Heather Lee, COPE 378 vice-president, Burnaby