B.C. Air Quality

Clean Transportation

Under the B.C. Air Action Plan, the B.C. government is investing $14 billion in the province's transportation infrastructure. As part of its transportation plan, the government is making large investments in clean vehicles and fuels, public transit, cycling, pedestrian routes and new rapid transit lines. For detailed information, visit Clean Transportation in the B.C. Air Action Plan's website.

Note (June 2012): The Air Action Plan was a three-year program that was implemented from 2007-2010.  Many of the actions listed below have been fully achieved and some initiatives have received further investments and support beyond 2010.

Action #1: The government is making significant investments in public transit, walking and cycling infrastructure, as well as PST exemptions, to make "going green" easier for British Columbians.

Action #2: The government is maintaining the tax break on buying new hybrid-electric vehicles, and implementing tax breaks for fuel-efficient vehicles.

Action #3: To get more old cars off the roads, the government is investing $15 million to expand the Scrap-It Program. This successful program gives people incentives of up to $2,000 to scrap older, highly polluting vehicles.

Action #4: The government is building a provincewide anti-idling movement. The government is working with other partners in the Idle Free BC program to reduce vehicle idling by at least 50 per cent by 2010. Idle Free BC focuses on raising awareness among fleets and the public about the environmental, health and economic costs of idling. The B.C. government is also developing an internal idle-reduction project targeting all B.C. public-service employees.

Action #5: The government will retrofit its own heavy-duty diesel vehicles and promote the use of biodiesel fuel wherever possible. New requirements will be introduced to require retrofits of all commercial on-road heavy-duty diesel vehicles by 2009.

Action #6: The provincial government is working with BC Transit to retrofit transit buses and make other improvements, such as using biodiesel, which is already fueling fleets in Victoria and Kelowna. By 2009, BC Transit will also have the world's largest fleet of buses powered by hydrogen fuel cells, with 20 buses scheduled for delivery and testing.

Action #7: The government is investing over $10 million to buy more than 80 new clean-energy school buses throughout the province. Existing school buses are being retrofitted with new clean diesel technology. See Diesel School Bus Retrofit Program.

Action #8: The government is expanding AirCare ON-ROAD to cover more communities and regions, and to test heavy-duty vehicles in high traffic areas. AirCare ON-ROAD (heavy-duty vehicles) and AirCare (light-duty vehicles) are vehicle inspection-and maintenance-programs aimed at reducing air-polluting emissions in the Lower Fraser Valley. AirCare will continue to monitor carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, and will now monitor add carbon dioxide.

Action #9: The government is taking action to stop big diesels from idling. B.C. is working with neighbouring jurisdictions to create electrified truck stops. To maintain power for their refrigeration units and other systems at truck stops, tractor trailers will simply "plug in" to these electrical outlets, instead of having to keep their engines running.

Action #10: The government is greening B.C.’s vehicle fleets by investing 2.5 million over three years on the Green Fleets BC partnership. Green Fleets B.C. will be a key information hub for the latest on green technologies for private and public sector fleets, including taxis, emergency vehicles, delivery vans and commercial freight trucks. The program has already identified smog-reduction opportunities that could have an impact equivalent to taking 50,000 cars off the road.

Action #11: The government will use biodiesel fuel in its diesel vehicles. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from plant or animal-based fats and oils.

Action #12: The B.C. government is buying green. Environmentally responsible strategies are being incorporated into the government’s policies on vehicle fleets, buildings and the purchase or lease of other goods and services. The B.C. government already operates a fleet of 584 hybrid-electric vehicles and has had a policy, since 2007, of only leasing or buying hybrid-electric vehicles.

Action #13: The government will work to reduce emissions from ports and marine vessels, and establish environmental standards for ports. This will be done in partnership with ports and the shipping industry operating up and down the West Coast, as far south as California. The Province will also seek federal cooperation to electrify B.C. ports, so cruise ships can plug in while they’re docked, rather than idling their engines. In addition, the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) is receiving $180,000 for for developing new technologies, processes and practices that will reduce emissions from marine vessels and port activities. 

Other Initiatives

Climate Action Helps Clear the Air: Tailpipe Emission Standards for Light-Duty Vehicles

The new Greenhouse Gas Reduction (Vehicle Emissions Standards) Act sets strict tailpipe-emission standards for all new, light-duty vehicles sold in the province. The standards are part of the government's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, many of which are emitted by fossil-fuel burning in vehicles. Since fossil-fuel burning also releases substances that cause local air pollution — e.g., particulate matter and ground-level ozone —  the new legislation will protect air quality, as well.

The Gateway Program

The B.C. Government is committed to continuing Gateway Program, started in 2003, to promote the efficient flow of people, goods and transit throughout Greater Vancouver — through a balance of transit, road and bridge improvements. The program includes a total investment of $60 million for cycling and pedestrian routes.

Hydrogen Highway

The Hydrogen Highway is intended to promote the use of Canadian hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies in southwestern British Columbia. This transportation network will include Hydrogen Highway refuelling stations, along with provisions for fuel-cell use.

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Reports — Transportation