Testing: But limits have yet to be set in law. <em>*File photo</em>
Testing: But limits have yet to be set in law. *File photo

FRIDAY, MARCH 9: Environmental groups have criticized government  for its ‘failure’ to set legal emission levels for vehicles.

It is now nearly two years since Bermuda Emissions Control Limited provided data and recommendations to government from their first year in charge of vehicle inspection.

BECL took over the testing process at TCD in April 2009 and began taking emission readings by using detector probes that are inserted into the exhaust pipe.

The company furnished government with a report outlining where the legal limit should be set for a range of vehicles in May 2010.

But to date no legal limits have been set.

The Bermuda Sun contacted Government yesterday but did not receive a response as to why limits had not been set in law.

Emission readings continue to be taken by BECL during vehicle inspections, and the firm’s recommended standards are shown on the pass document.

However cars and bikes cannot fail their test on this ground because there is no legal failure threshold.

Judith Landsberg, President of Greenrock, said: “This is situation is totally ridiculous.

“We are very disappointed that they have not brought in any emissions standard.

“You can drive along the road and see cars which would violate any common sense standards.

Environment

“They have had two years worth of data and nothing seems to have been done. There is nothing that prevents them from setting these standards that would be of benefit to our environment.”

Stuart Hayward, Chairman of the Bermuda Environmental and Sustainability Taskforce

“Testing is a waste of time if there’s no benchmarks to measure the tests against. It seems that while data has been collected and delivered, the data has not been converted into local emissions standards.

“This is highly disappointing because at the time the former Transport Minister made promises that were supposed to lead to policies. Those promises, those policy debts, now must be called in.

“All this points to a need for a truly sustainability-focused approach to policy-making, and a substantive approach to public health.

“Bermudians were given expectations that enforceable and enforced vehicle emission standards, including noise, would be put into place years ago. We should not have to wait any longer.”

By the time the Bermuda Sun went to press we had not received any response from government.