OTTAWA, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - The Honourable Rob Merrifield, Minister of State (Transport), today launched the consultation process with stakeholders to develop emissions regulations for locomotives under the Railway Safety Act.
"By developing regulations to reduce emissions from locomotives, we are taking concrete action to produce results," said Minister Merrifield. "This is part of our government's overall regulatory plan to limit air emissions, and deliver environmental and health benefits for all Canadians."
As part of the regulatory development process, Transport Canada has prepared a consultation paper that broadly outlines the context for these regulations. An issue brief, entitled Rolling Towards a Cleaner Future: The Development of Canadian Locomotive Emissions Regulations, has also been prepared.
Following consultations, draft regulations will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 90-day comment and review period. It is expected that final regulations will come into force in 2011.
These regulations will address criteria air contaminants, which are produced in many ways, including burning fossil fuels (such as in fuel-burning engines and motors). Reducing criteria air contaminants from the rail sector is part of a broader strategy to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. The Government of Canada has already taken action to reduce emissions from light- and heavy-duty vehicles, both on and off road, and is also moving forward on initiatives in the marine sector and for off-road recreational vehicles.
The consultation paper and issue brief are available at www.tc.gc.ca/locomotive-emissions-locomotives. A backgrounder with more information about the memorandum of understanding between the Government of Canada and the Railway Association of Canada is attached.
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DEVELOPMENT OF LOCOMOTIVE EMISSIONS REGULATIONS
In 2007 the Government of Canada signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Railway Association of Canada (RAC). RAC represents the majority of railways operating in Canada. Its 54 members include Class 1 freight, regional and short lines, intercity passenger, commuter rail, and tourist and excursion railways. The MOU sets targets to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, and members of RAC were also encouraged to reduce criteria air contaminant emissions. The Government of Canada intends to develop regulations under the Railway Safety Act that will take effect after the current MOU with RAC expires in 2010.
Background on the Memorandum of Understanding
RAC and Canada's four largest railway companies (Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, VIA Rail and GO Transit) agreed to take action to reduce criteria air contaminant emissions through such measures as:
- purchasing new and lower-emitting locomotives;
- retiring a number of medium-horsepower locomotives built between 1973 and 1999; and
- upgrading medium-horsepower and high-horsepower locomotives built after 1972 to be lower emitting.
In addition to these measures, all RAC members have committed to meet a set of operations-specific greenhouse gas emissions intensity targets by 2010.
Through the Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program, RAC collects data on the emission of greenhouse gases and criteria air contaminants from locomotives operating in Canada. This information is collected in accordance with the MOU referred to above. The most recent report on the program, Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program 2008, indicates that the industry is making progress towards its established targets. This report is available online from the RAC website at www.railcan.ca.
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