FORT ERIE, Ontario (AP) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have begun inspecting U.S.-bound cargo trucks in Canada under a pilot program at one of the northern border's busiest crossings.
Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was at the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo for the program's start Monday. Authorities will watch to see whether it reduces congestion and pollution-causing idling on the bridge, which handles more than 1 million truck crossings yearly and sees frequent bumper-to-bumper backups.
U.S. customs officers can now inspect trucks at the roomier Canadian plaza before sending them across the bridge, where another officer either sends them on or conducts a secondary inspection.
The pilot program, similar to one begun at the Pacific Highway Crossing in British Columbia, will last up to a year.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.