Canada plans new emission rules for heavy trucks

Fri May 21, 2010 3:51pm EDT
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By Allan Dowd

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Canada is on schedule for developing new emissions standards for heavy trucks, although the draft regulations will not be ready until later this year, the environment minister said on Friday.

Canada and the United States both unveiled plans on Friday to set efficiency targets for heavy-duty vehicles ranging from large-sized pickup trucks to tractor trailers used in long-distance hauling.

Ottawa expects to release draft regulations this fall that will spell out the requirements for heavy-duty vehicles and engines, starting between the 2014 and 2018 model years, Environment Minister Jim Prentice told reporters.

Officials said in April that Ottawa expected to release details of the proposed rules in late spring, but Prentice said the government was still on schedule with its plans to reduce vehicle emissions.

"These are complicated regulations," Prentice told reporters, adding later that they dealt with "heavy-duty vehicles that are at the very heart of our economy."

Big trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles accounted for 6 percent of Canada's greenhouse gas emissions, Prentice said.

He added that while the Canadian and U.S. rules would be harmonized they would not be identical, reflecting national differences, such the fact that Canadian transport trucks usually carry heavier loads.

Environmentalists have accused Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government of lagging other countries in developing programs to fight climate change.   Continued...