Ontario is strengthening its Smog Patrol for better enforcement of vehicle emissions standards on roads throughout the province, Environment and Energy Minister Chris Stockwell announced today. “The Smog Patrol is an important part of this government’s commitment to reducing harmful vehicle emissions,” said Stockwell. “We are going to increase its staff complement to 30 full-time positions to give it far greater capability to inspect polluting vehicles on our roads, whether those vehicles are from Ontario or from out-of-province.” The enhancement of the Smog Patrol will be funded from the government’s share of a $5 increase in the fee for Drive Clean tests of vehicle emissions systems. On October 1, 2002 the maximum test fee rises to $35 from the current maximum of $30 and the maximum cost of a re-test to $17.50 from $15. “The original Drive Clean fee was approved a number of years ago and it has not kept pace with the costs of operating an expanded program,” said Stockwell. The Smog Patrol complements and supports the Drive Clean program. It provides on-road enforcement of the vehicle emissions requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. And it acts as MOEE’s enforcement arm for Drive Clean by investigating possible legal infractions at Drive Clean facilities. Since 1998, the Smog Patrol has conducted over 13,000 vehicle inspections and issued more than 2,200 tickets.