MEXICO CITY — The Natural Resources and Environmental Secretariat (Semarnat) published an emergency regulation that establishes strict limits on emissions of pollutants for vehicles that circulate in Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla and Tlaxcala.
Semarnat explained that NOM-EM-167-SEMARNAT-2016 was released because 2016 has had some of the highest levels of ozone in the Valley of Mexico metropolitan area.
The new regulations will take effect July 1 and will last six months. They will apply to all vehicles weighing more than 400 kilograms, including those used for public or government service such as vehicles used to enforce transportation regulations.
Vehicles weighing less than 400 kilograms, motorcycles, tractors and construction or mining equipment will be excluded from the regulations.
NOM-EM-167-SEMARNAT-2016 establishes limits of polluting emissions from vehicles that use gasoline, liquid petroleum gas, natural gas or diesel. It also establishes methods for verifying and measuring emissions.
On-board diagnostics will be the principal testing method for determining emissions levels. Most vehicles made after 2006 have such systems. On-board diagnostics constantly monitor the functioning of emissions control systems.
Using on-board diagnostics will allow the testing of vehicles using the computer tools already built in to those vehicles, in contrast with visual inspections or exhaust gas inspections, which do not identify failures in components that contribute to polluting emissions.
The new regulations establish maximum permissible limits for emissions, allowing competent authorities to identify contaminating vehicles remotely.
Vehicles built in 2006 or later that use gasoline or natural gas that are unable to be tested with on-board diagnostics can be tested in other ways. Such tests can also be used for older vehicles.
Local and federal authorities will establish specific circulation limits on vehicles.
Some natural gas- or gasoline-fueled vehicles less than four years old, that are not used for business or public service, will not need to be verified.
Authorities will announce the start date of the program before July 14. It will be less than 60 days from the day the regulations went into effect.