April 5, 2002

Environment Minister announces tougher emission standards for on-road vehicles and engines

Toronto – Federal environment minister David Anderson announced yesterday new proposed measures to reduce smog forming air pollutants from new on-road vehicles.

Under the proposed On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations, two new classes of vehicles will be added to the regulations – “medium-duty passenger vehicles” and “complete heavy-duty vehicles.” The new medium-duty passenger vehicles class is designed to subject larger passenger vans and sport utility vehicles to the same set of emission standards as light-duty vehicles, instead of heavy-duty vehicles standards as is currently the case under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act. Essentially, larger vans and SUVs will no longer be treated as trucks, but as cars.

Vehicles classed as complete heavy-duty vehicles will be tested according to emissions per unit of distance rather than emissions per unit of work, as is the case witht he current regulations.

The new regulations will be applied to new vehicles starting in September, 2003, for the 2004 model year. More stringent exhaust emission standards will be phased in over the 2004 to 2010 model years.
The measures will result in progressively greater annual emission reductions of pollutants that form smog.

“Vehicles are a major source of the air pollutants that contribute to the formation of smog,” said Minister Anderson. “This measure to bring cleaner vehicles to our streets and roads will help clear the air and reduce the impacts of pollution on our natural environment and our health.”

The proposed regulations set out technical standards for vehicles and engines with respect to exhaust, evaporative and crankcase emissions, on-board diagnostics systems and other specifications related to emission control systems. The technical standards correspond to those of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and sections of the US Code of Federal Regulations are incorporated to ensure the specified standards are identical in both countries, as has been the case in the past.

It is estimated that in 2020, the proposed regulations will contribute to the following emissions reductions from new on-road vehicles in Canada: nitrogen oxides (-74 %), particulate matter (-64 %), carbon monoxide (-23 %) and volatile organic compounds (-14%). This measure will also result in
decreased emissions of several pollutants, including benzene and acrolein which have been declared “toxic” under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act 1999.

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