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First workshop to promote Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing Program enforcement

Posted on January 04, 2015

First workshop to promote Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing Program enforcement

The first Workshop on Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing (MVET) Program Enforcement in the Northern Border was held in Tijuana, B.C., and was attended by more than 20 officials from Mexico's northern border area.

The purpose of the workshop was to promote the implementation of motor vehicle emissions testing in all border states, and encourage legal and environmental compliance of all vehicles imported into the country permanently. This workshop was hosted jointly by Mexico's Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Baja California's Secretariat of Environmental Protection (SPA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC). 

During the opening ceremony, Baja California's Secretary of Environmental Protection, Carlos Graizbord Ed, highlighted the efforts made by the agency to contribute positively to environmental care. The state official said air pollution is an issue that creates worldwide impacts, and added that the administration of Governor Francisco "Kiko" Vega de Lamadrid, as part of its environmental policies, is developing thirteen programs focused on the issue, along with the Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing Program. 

The workshop is intended to help border states ensure compliance with their own Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing (MVET) regulatory framework and obtain information to help them implement and maintain in operation said program, which seeks to timely identify malfunctioning and/or deteriorating mechanical and electrical systems in each vehicle subject to inspection, which in turn helps to identify required repairs; additionally, it can be employed as a vehicle use management tool to reduce the congestion caused by the over-usage of roads and to promote the replacement of aging vehicle fleets, as has been implemented by the governments of Mexico City and the State of Mexico in Mexico City's Greater Metropolitan Area.

BECC's Deputy General Manager, Jose Mario Sanchez Soledad, noted that "the goals of motor vehicle emissions testing are first, related to concerns about human health, about our children, that everyone may have better living conditions and a better air to breathe. Secondly, they seek to prevent operating and health expenses for the community, diseases; and thirdly, to maintain good neighborliness practices." 

In cities that have air pollution problems, motor vehicles are usually the main pollutant emission source. Existing vehicles are typically responsible for the emission of more than 95% of carbon monoxide, and between 50% and 80% of ozone precursor emissions released into the atmosphere on a daily basis. The implementation of motor vehicle emission testing helps reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by up to 30%, and the most demanding programs achieve additional reductions of around 10% of nitrogen oxides.

SEMARNAT's Director General of Environmental, Urban, and Tourism Development, Carlos Sanchez Gasca, thanked the government of Baja California for endorsing and promoting the workshop, which will help develop guidelines, establish the commitment of the border states, and contribute to share experiences on the issue of pollutant emissions. 

He also underscored that, according to information obtained through the 2014-2018 Special Climate Change Program, Mexico releases an average of 789.5 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually, and of this amount, 26% is generated by private vehicles, while more than 50% is generated by commercial carriers. 

The event benefited from the participation of expert speakers from Mexico and the United States, specialized on issues such as: Mobile Source Regulations and Compliance, Vehicle Emissions Testing Design and Reengineering in the Northern Border Area, Motor Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance in California, and Border Air Quality, Motor Vehicle Emissions Testing and Human Health, among others. 

The workshop also sought to lay the groundwork for the design of MVET programs in the border states to make them solid, well-structured, and publicly accepted programs that specifically fulfill the objective of maintaining vehicles in optimal operating conditions to help reduce pollutant emissions in the region. This initiative meets Goal 1 of the Border U.S.-Mexico Border 2020 Environmental Program: Reduce Air Pollution. The Border 2020 Program was widely discussed at the workshop, as it provides an option for border states to promote air quality related projects.  

As part of the workshops' agenda, the EPA made a presentation on "the impact of on-road vehicles on Texas air quality," which served to share the experience of the State of Texas with Mexican state officials.

"The attempt to maintain this preventive approach to air quality is the main strength to be promoted; this is what provides motivation for these efforts," said Jose Mario Sanchez Soledad.

The opening ceremony was attended by U.S. EPA Region 6 Border Office Director, Carlos Rincon; the SEMARNAT Representative in Baja California, Alfonso Blancafort Camarena; the Director of Ecology of the State of Chihuahua, Salvador Ruvalcaba Mendoza; and the Director of Environmental Protection for the City of Tijuana, Tirso Lievano Hernández, among other officials.




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