Trucking Alliance Says Build on U.S Environmental Regs

OTTAWA – The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said that it supports Environment Canada’s recent Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations – a regulation draft that responds to a U.S. 2011 regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Environment Canada is set to copy the EPA’s regulation – a move the CTA agrees with given that so many Canadian fleets do business in the U.S. and most equipment is manufactured south of the border.

CTA said they reminded Environment Canada that compliance options not in the EPA regulation could still work in Canada’s version, provided, Laskowski said, “they do not create competitive disadvantages for Canadian fleets or suppliers.”

The possible disadvantages that could stem from adopting the U.S. rule is an issue that the CTA said it has raised with Environment Canada in past discussions. Happily, CTA said, Environment Canada’s most recent research shows that Canadian manufacturers “will not be disadvantaged compared to US manufacturers due to the higher average payloads in Canada.”

Still, though, there are some lingering questions for the Alliance.

Build and Clarify

Environment Canada is proposing the same suite of technologies as the U.S., which does not include automatic transmissions. CTA is wondering why Environment Canada decided to not explore alternative technological compliance options that don’t appear in the U.S. rule.

“It appears that Environment Canada sees merit in automatic transmissions, which now represent up to 50 percent of new heavy vehicles sold, but is unwilling to consider it as a compliance option solely because the U.S. isn’t,” Laskowski said.

CTA also asked Environment Canada to clarify its intentions to re-open the Heavy-duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in 2018. CTA said that the EPA regulation is clear when it says that a new regulatory system will be introduced that will not only require carriers to utlize more leading edge GHG reduction tech to attain compliance, but also introduce a regulation governing trailer design.

Environment Canada, CTA said, was silent on these issues. “The 2014-2018 regulation of GHG emissions from Class 8 trucks may pose challenges for manufacturers as it relates to managing sales to qualify for imposed emission targets. However, the real cost and technology challenges for the trucking industry appear to be based on EPA statements post-2018.” To avoid future and uneccessary burdens on the trucking industry, government and industry must begin working on engine and trailer challenges today, stressed Laskowski.

A Little Incentive Goes a Long Way

CTA said that they have also been lobbying the Feds to bring in some financial incentives to grease the purchasing of GHG friendly class 8 tractors.

“Unlike the air quality regulations, these GHG standards will not specify required equipment for all heavy trucks sold over the 2014-2018 period,” Laskowski explained. “The tax system, just as it is used in the manufacturing sector, should be utilized to introduce incentives to encourage the carrier community to purchase greener trucks. This system works well in the manufacturing community and we see no reason why these same incentives should not be introduced into our sector,” Laskowski said.

The proposed regulations are estimated to shave off 19 megatonnes of CO2 in GHG emissions between 2014-18. The cost to industry for additional vehicle purchases is somewhere in the $0.8 billion ballpark, CTA said. But the benefits outweigh that in the tune of $5.0 billion – a fuel savings of $4.5 billion.

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