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Prentice: Canada, US will align regulations on truck emissions

Canada and the U.S. will set common standards for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced today. But the regulations won't be implemented until 2014 at the earliest.

In a news release from Environment Canada, Prentice said:

"Canada and the United States had great success in establishing common standards for regulating greenhouse emissions from passenger automobiles and light trucks. Building on our strong working relationship with the Obama administration, we are taking the next logical step by addressing emissions from heavy-duty vehicles."

The release went on to say the government would work with manufacturers and users of heavy trucks to develop a draft of the emission regulations, which would be available for public comment this fall. The final regulations will not come into effect until sometime between 2014 and 2018.

A backgrounder on the Environment Canada website said the regulations would apply to "full-sized pickup trucks, delivery vehicles, buses, freight vehicles, service trucks, garbage trucks and dump trucks, as well as tractor trailers."

The news release stated that "Heavy-duty vehicles account for about 6 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Reducing emissions in this sector will help us achieve our 2020 target of a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels."

According to an Environment Canada summary of emissions trends, total Canadian GHG emissions in 2005 were 731 megatonnes(Mt). Reducing emissions by 17 percent from that level would bring emissions down to about 607 Mt, slightly above the 592 Mt emitted in 1990.

The same document notes that heavy-duty diesel vehicles increased their emissions by 18.7 Mt between 1990 and 2008. The document did not provide figures on total heavy-duty vehicle emissions over that period.

Crawford Kilian is a contributing editor of The Tyee.

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