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Canada proposes locomotive emission standards

21 June 2016

The Government of Canada has published proposed Locomotive Emissions Regulations—the first ever Canadian emission standards to control emissions of criteria air contaminants (CAC) from railway locomotives. The proposed regulations are being developed under the Railway Safety Act. The proposed changes would limit emissions of NOx, PM, HC and CO from locomotives operated by railway companies under federal jurisdiction.

The emission standards set out in the proposed regulations will align with the US EPA locomotive emission standards, in terms of both emission limits and effective dates.

US EPA emission standards for locomotives apply to both newly manufactured and to remanufactured railway locomotives and locomotive engines, with the stringency depending on the year of manufacture. The most stringent set of Tier 4 emission standards—NOx = 1.3 g/bhp-hr, PM = 0.03 g/bhp-hr—applies to locomotives manufactured from January 1, 2015. Most of Tier 4 line-haul locomotives currently in the field—some estimated 600 units—meet the Tier 4 standards through in-cylinder controls, such as EGR and Miller valve timing, without the use of emission aftertreatment.

Stakeholders and the public can provide comments on the proposed regulations until September 15, 2016. After considering the comments, Transport Canada will finalize the regulations and publish them in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

While emissions from most categories of vehicles and engines are regulated by Environment Canada, the authority for regulating railway locomotive emissions lies with Transport Canada under the Railway Safety Act. In 1995, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by Environment Canada, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and the Railway Association of Canada. The MOU set a cap on annual NOx emissions from railway locomotives operating in Canada of 115,000 tonnes per annum. Since the agreement expired in 2005, locomotive emissions in Canada remained unregulated.

Source: Canada Gazette, Part I