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Transport Canada opens consultation on locomotive emission regulations

13 December 2010

Transport Canada has launched a public consultation to develop emission regulations for locomotives under the Railway Safety Act. Comments are accepted by February 14, 2011. Following consultations, draft regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette for a 90-day comment and review period. The final regulations are expected to come into force in 2011.

Locomotive emissions remain unregulated in Canada. In 2007 the Government of Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Railway Association of Canada (RAC). The MOU set targets to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2010, and also encouraged the members of RAC to reduce criteria air contaminant emissions. The new regulations will take effect after the current MOU expires in 2010.

The new regulations will include emission standards for criteria air pollutants, as well as limits on greenhouse gas emissions from locomotives. The emission standards will be aligned with the US EPA locomotive regulations. The greenhouse gas regulations “will be developed in step with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency”, states the consultation paper, even though the US EPA has not been regulating or developing GHG regulations for locomotives.

Canadian emission regulations for highway vehicles and engines, light- and heavy-duty, have been aligned with the US regulations. Canadian emission requirements for nonroad engines, on the other hand, are lagging behind US regulations. For instance, Environment Canada has not yet adopted Tier 4 standards for mobile nonroad machinery, and Tier 3 engines will continue to be used in Canada for the foreseeable future.

Source: Transport Canada