NEW YORK, NY — Canada is moving closer to harmonizing its environmental regulations with those of the US. The latest change which will see Canadian policy mimic American policy comes in the area of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations and reductions.
Attending a meeting in New York on climate change, environment minister Leona Aglukkaq announced that three separate rules are being amended. Changes to the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on September 27. The goal of this update is to create more stringent Tier 3 vehicle and fuel standards. According to the federal government, the new Tier 3 standards will reduce smog-forming air pollutant emissions for new vehicles by up to 80 per cent compared to the current Tier 2 standards. The proposed Tier 3 emission standards would apply to new passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and certain heavy-duty vehicles (such as delivery vans). The standards would be introduced with the 2017 model year and increase in stringency until fully implemented in the 2025 model year.
Also being published in the Canada Gazette on September 27 (which is the way Canadians are officially informed that regulatory changes are coming into effect) are the amendments to the Sulphur in Gasoline Regulations, which are designed to reduce the average sulphur content of gasoline by nearly 70 per cent (from 30 parts per million to 10 parts per million) beginning in 2017.
In October, the final Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emissions will also see publication. Environment Canada says 2017 to 2025 model year vehicles (those covered under the regulations) will produce 174 fewer megatonnes of GHGs than older vehicles. That’s roughly equivalent to one year of GHG emissions from Canada’s entire transportation sector.
As part of the series of announcements, the federal government also said it intends to start developing more stringent standards to further reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption from post-2018 model year heavy-duty vehicles and engines. These changes will build on existing regulations for 2014-18 model years. Under the current regulations, GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles are expected to be reduced by up to 23 per cent.
“These initiatives, which will protect the environment and provide health benefits, will be aligned with the United States, given the integrated nature of the North American economy. This is good news for the Canadian economy and will provide direct economic benefits to consumers in the form of fuel savings,” said Aglukkaq.
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