The International Training and Research Center
The National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colorado

The National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety (NCVECS) was established at Colorado State University in 1976 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). NCVECS was originally created to assist states in developing vehicle emissions control programs which would address their own unique emissions-related air pollution problems. NCVECS has provided its research expertise, training programs and assistance to more than 40 states, and will continue to do so in the years to come.

Air pollution, however, knows no borders or boundaries. It has become a critical global problem affecting human health, social stability and economic welfare of most major industrial countries including or own.

An International Focus

NCVECS has responded to the issue of global air pollution by expanding its training and environmental education programs and by developing vehicle emissions programs that are tailored to the specific needs and cultures of the countries for which they are intended. The passage in November 1993, of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will be of particular importance to the environment of the Western Hemisphere because of the treaty's side agreements which require compliance with uniform environmental regulations and cleanup. In addition, the treaty allows for more freedom and mobility between countries resulting in more vehicles crossing the border, thus underscoring the need for uniform vehicle emissions laws, vehicle inspections, and mechanic's training to assure clean running vehicles and reduced pollution throughout the NAFTA countries.

NCVECS has been working with Canada, particularly with Mexico, well in advance of NAFTA, and will be working closely with those agencies and organizations who will implement the environmental component of NAFTA in both countries. Among its most recent activities in Mexico and Canada are:

Several additional projects are under development with Mexico, particularly in response to the establishment of Mexico's Inspection and Maintenance programs. These I/M programs suffer from many of the same problems that plagued the U.S. in the early 1980's, most notably the lack of experienced automotive technicians' ability to diagnose and repair vehicles that fail the I/M test. Massive training efforts for automotive technicians will need to be implemented in Mexico if there is to be any real air quality benefit. Mexico City currently has the world's dirtiest air and has had its worst smog alerts in history in the past two years.

NCVECS is also working with environmental officials in other countries:

Over the past several years, NCVECS personnel have delivered major presentations at International Environmental and Fuels Conferences in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Germany.


The National Center for Vehicle Emissions Control and Safety has 18 years experience as the only university-based research and training center focused on pollution problems stemming from mobile source emissions. Many foreign countries are just beginning to tackle their own very serious pollution problems. It is organizations such as NCVECS that are in a position to save these countries years of trial and error and great expense by sharing our knowledge, experience and expertise on behalf of solving our global air pollution problems.

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Copyright © 1995 Colorado State University

Updated March 12, 1996