Canada-US vehicle and engine emissions: 2014 to 2016 work plan

Strategic Work Plan (2014-2016)

A) Background

There is a long history of collaboration between Environment Canada (EC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce transportation emissions, largely fostered by the framework of Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement (AQA). The AQA was signed in 1991 to address transboundary air pollution that leads to acid rain. In 2000, the Governments completed the Ozone Annex to the AQA to address air pollution that leads to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major component of smog. The Annex included specific obligations towards alignment of regulatory standards for emissions from vehicles and engines and has resulted in a history of aligning air pollutant emission standards for vehicles and engines. In recent years, EC-EPA collaboration has been broadened to GHG emission regulations for on-road vehicles.

In 2007, the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Committee (AQC) approved a work plan that set out general areas of collaboration between Environment Canada (EC) and the U.S EPA on vehicle and engine emission control. The work plan covers collaboration in the following key areas: development of national air pollutant and GHG emission and fuel standards, administration of vehicle and engine compliance programs and development of international standards (e.g., IMO, WP-29). Annual planning meetings have been held to coordinate EC-EPA efforts in these areas and implement the work plan.

B) Objective of the Strategic Work Plan:

The Strategic Work Plan builds on the foundation of collaborative efforts to date under the AQA framework by identifying a series of joint strategic priorities over the 2014-2016 timeframe. For each of these priorities, the Strategic Work Plan sets out a strategic objective and key collaborative projects to be undertaken in 2014-2016 to support the joint priorities.

The transportation sectors in Canada and the U.S are highly integrated. EC-EPA continue to have common policy objectives on reducing emissions from the transportation sector and similar performance monitoring and verification priorities. The Strategic Work Plan will enhance EC-EPA continued collaboration under the AQC to support the development of aligned vehicle, engine and fuel regulations and their coordinated implementation. The strategic approach will enable EC and EPA to deliver on their joint priorities and associated environmental outcomes in a manner that make more effective use of available resources. For example, coordinated efforts on regulatory alignment, administration and compliance programs will enable EC-EPA to: collaborate in R&D projects to support regulatory development and related policies; minimize testing overlap; act upon non-compliance in a more targeted and efficient way, given expanded scope of regulated products; minimize industry burden while improving regulatory oversight and performance monitoring. Continuing to work closely under the AQA process will also support the objectives of the Canada-U.S. Regulatory Cooperation Council.

C) Strategic Priorities for 2014-2016

1. Development of Heavy-Duty Vehicle GHG Regulations (Phase 2)

Strategic Objective: To collaborate on the regulatory development of the second phase to facilitate aligned regulations and to reduce regulatory lag time between U.S. and Canadian publications. Collaboration includes joint technical work to support and inform the regulatory development and share of testing resources between U.S. EPA, Environment Canada and Transport Canada (ecoTechnology for Vehicles II program).

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

  • Perform joint heavy-duty vehicle chassis and engine dynamometer testing at EC and EPA facilities to support GHG standards regulatory development of next phase
  • Perform joint testing and research related to the aerodynamic properties of heavy-duty vehicles to assess GHG reductions, but also to develop enhanced test procedures
  • U.S. EPA and EC to attend consultation sessions with stakeholders such as participation in joint workshops, technical meetings with industry stakeholders to support moving forward on a common North American approach
  • Sharing of technical information and data that serve to inform the regulatory development
  • Regular EC-EPA meetings to discuss joint work and progress of regulatory development

2. Mid-Term Review of Light-Duty GHG Regulations (2022-2025)

Strategic Objective: To collaborate on the development of the 2017 through 2025 MY Greenhouse Gas Rule Midterm Evaluation (MTE). The MTE was adopted as part of the final rulemaking to provide a "check point" with vehicle manufacturers at which time feasibility of light-duty vehicle manufacturers to meet the promulgated standards would be assessed. Through EC-EPA collaboration on the development of the MTE, alignment between the GHG regulations in each country will be maintained and each agency will drawing on the same data and information in its respective processes.

Collaboration includes regular meetings and discussions, as well as joint research/testing projects to leverage resources and expertise. Work would be done in collaboration with Transport Canada under the ecoTechnology for Vehicles II program.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

  • Sharing of technical information and data that serve to inform mid-term evaluation
  • Regular EC-EPA meetings to discuss joint work and progress of mid-term evaluation
  • Aerodynamic assessment of light-duty vehicles equipped with advanced aerodynamic features
  • Benchmarking tests to support development of ALPHA model. Tests include chassis and dynamometer testing of vehicles equipped with GHG technologies
  • Light-weighting studies using computer simulation models

3. Compliance Testing and Verification Programs

Strategic Objective: The strategic objective addresses collaboration on compliance testing program collaboration, information sharing to enhance program effectiveness and correlation testing (small gasoline engines and highway motorcycles)

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

  • Light-Duty data sharing
  • Small SI Engine, Highway Motorcycle and scooter, and Recreational Vehicle compliance data sharing to ensure compliance concerns impacting North America are affectively communicated and addressed in each jurisdiction.
  • Small SI Engine, Highway Motorcycle, and Recreational Vehicle round robin correlation testing collaboration.
  • Small SI Engine, Highway Motorcycle and scooter, and Recreational Vehicle testing coordination to broaden compliance presence will leveraging information sharing to improve compliance impact.
  • Diesel engine and hybrid powertrain system screening evaluation for GHG performance assessment in 2016.

4. Compliance Promotion and Outreach

Strategic Objective: The strategic objective addresses inter-agency collaboration to improve compliance rates of engines imported from emerging economies.

This plan is an outgrowth of the EPA-EC workplan under the AQA. It sets out a series of planned cooperative activities to address the growing concern among regulatory agencies responsible for environmental compliance related to the growing influx of non-compliant products imported into North America. In view of the general alignment of emission standards across North America and the desire to achieve greater efficiencies, this initiative outlines activities that participants plan to jointly coordinate. This effort will embark upon a phased approach to address compliance on a sector by sector basis. Additionally, prioritizing will be based on available resources and the scope of the potential problem based on multiple factors including: emissions impact, likelihood of noncompliance, forensic data analysis of reported industry data, anecdotal and empirical data, and information collected by participants related to alleged non-compliance. For the 2014- 16 period, the initial focus will be on small SI engine and motorcycle manufacturers based in Asia. However, the material developed to raise awareness may be made available through the internet to reach out to manufacturers around the world.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

Outreach activities targeted at offshore manufacturers, exporters and purchasing agents. These activities are intended to directly raise awareness amongst those entities of North American emission standards and requirements and could include development of information sheets, videos, etc.

  • Joint Compliance Workshops and Compliance Visits in 2015 / 2016 to inform manufacturers in Asia of North American regulatory requirements.
  • Survey / audit of engine and motorcycle manufacturers and emissions test facilities in China. Conduct a survey of engine manufacturers and test facilities with the objective of identifying their capabilities and familiarity with production (if applicable) and testing of products designed to meet EPA emission standards.
  • Explore a strategic partnership with an intermediary agency, such as China's Ministry of Environmental Protection, to communicate North American standards with the objective of enabling their capability to assess companies' abilities to manufacture products that comply with North American standards.

Beyond the near-term time horizon, similar joint test facility reviews could occur in other regions that supply products to the North American market including Europe.

5. Marine Emissions

Strategic Objective: Advance joint EC and EPA interests in achieving marine sector emissions reduction by collaborating at IMO and through alignment of domestic marine engine and fuels regulations.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

  • Analysis and information sharing to advance the determination of availability of fuel oil to comply with the global fuel sulphur standard of 0.5% in 2020
  • Information sharing on programs and regulatory authorities for improving air quality in ports and surrounding communities in the U.S. and Canada
  • Information sharing with respect to compliance promotion and enforcement of the North American ECA, on the coasts and the Great Lakes
  • Environment Canada to consider options for aligning  with U.S. EPA standards for small marine diesel engine emissions
  • Information sharing and joint analysis  to evaluate a potential global energy efficiency standard

6. Improving Fundamental Emissions Data/Modelling Capacity

Strategic Objective: Improve the science and increase our understanding of how emissions are generated from mobile sources and their fuels to create more accurate emission inventories and support a shared future regulatory agenda.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

Share existing data and consider new projects to collect new data for Footnote1 , Footnote2 , Footnote3 :

  • Advanced Technology Light-Duty Vehicles (eg: PM and speciated HC from GDI engines)
  • Real-world emissions from Light-duty Tier2 vehicles (especially deterioration, but including effects of engine block heaters on cold temperature emissions)
  • Real-world emissions from 2010 Compliant Heavy-Duty Trucks equipped with SCR/DPF (especially NOx off-cycle low load operating conditions, and deterioration trends for NOx/PM)
  • Emissions from Tier4 Non-road diesel engines across a range of operating conditions, including deterioration
  • Emissions from small spark-ignited gasoline engines, including deterioration, evaporative emissions, fuel effects, and HC/PM speciation.
  • Real-world emissions from C1/C2/C3 marine as well as locomotives and piston aircraft

EC and EPA will continue discussions to undertake potential projects taking into account priorities, available funding and laboratory capacity.

7. Transportation Fuels

Strategic Objective: The goal is to evolve on-going collaboration into a formalized partnership on science and policy in support of a more closely aligned future fuels policy and regulatory agenda. The Oil, Gas and Alternative Energy Division (OGAED) have a long-standing tradition of informal collaboration with colleagues within the EPA. Regularly scheduled meetings to coordinate and establish cooperative efforts on specific projects in support of future regulatory and scientific efforts will formalize this relationship and allow us to better leverage each other's resources and actions.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2017:

Short Term (2014-15):

In the short term, and in recognition of the on-going fiscal obligations of both parties, activities will focus on sharing information stemming from current test plans. In the case of OGAED, this will include ongoing work to generate data to characterize fuel quality effects on vehicle/engine tailpipe emissions when using conventional and renewable fuels:

  • Biodiesel and hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel effects on diesel vehicle and engine emissions
  • Renewable fuels use in off-road small spark ignition engines
  • Impact of gasoline aromatics and volatility on particle emissions (in coordination with OTAQ aromatics work below)

In the case of OTAQ/ASD/FC, this will include ongoing work to

  • Characterize the impact of gasoline aromatics and ethanol on particle emissions
  • More broadly model the impacts of gasoline fuel quality on emissions
  • Develop standards for E16-E85 ethanol blends for use in FFVs

Teams will teleconference quarterly or as needed to share status reports and coordinate future year work plans.

Long Term (2015-17 and ongoing):

In the longer term, activities would focus on mutual work to support the development and implementation of more closely aligned fuel quality regulations and programs that could include:

  • Collaboration on the assessment of fuel parameter impacts on vehicle emission, such as particulate impacts of aromatics, or impacts of RVP on evaporative emissions to inform potential aligned regulatory approaches.
  • Information sharing to inform alignment of Canadian fuel quality regulations with those US, including assessing emissions impacts of parameters not currently regulated by Canada, such as detergents.
  • Collaboration on the assessment of emerging fuel quality parameters not currently regulated by either country but which could have a significant impact on emissions and air quality, such as octane.
  • Expansion of renewable fuels testing to understand the state of the science on the emission impacts of the increasing volume of renewable and alternative fuels and blends with gasoline/diesel fuel to inform policy approaches.
  • Establishment of a Canadian fuel quality test bench(s) and associated analytical equipment to enhance Canada's technical capacity to collaborate with the US EPA and leverage their capacity.

The degree of collaboration on various projects would be subject to available resources by both EPA and EC. Teams would teleconference quarterly and as needed for projects, with an annual face to face meeting in the second or third quarter. Given the close relationship between fuel formulation and vehicle emissions, quarterly and face to face meetings could be coordinated with EPA/EC vehicle regulatory team meetings. Work plans will be assessed on a regular basis (at least twice a year) to ensure continued alignment, relevance, and funding.

8) WP-29 / International Trade Agreements

Strategic Objective: To enhance the 1998 Agreement/WP-29 process for developing global technical emission regulations for vehicles and engines and promote Canada-U.S. emission standards in international fora and development of trade agreements.

Canada and the U.S. have active trade agendas and trade agreements typically include provisions related to general technical standards and regulatory cooperation.  In trade discussions, EC and EPA have generally pointed to the WP-29 process as the focal point for developing global standards. Nonetheless, resource constraints have impeded Canada/U.S. active participation on some GRPE working group and some GTRs are being developed under the 1998 agreement process with a focus on meeting European policy requirements. EC-EPA will consider opportunities to make the WP-29 global standards-setting process more effective and account for North American perspectives.

Key Collaborative Projects for 2014 to 2016:

  • Share information and consolidate efforts and resources to bring a North American perspective to the global standards-setting process at the U.N. forum
  • Conduct regular teleconferences in advance of U.N. meetings (WP-29 and GRPE) to review agenda items and exchange views.
  • Continue to participate actively in a working group on heavy-duty vehicle hybrids to establish a harmonized test method to measure pollutant emissions and CO2 emissions from heavy-duty hybrid vehicles.
  • Continue to Chair (EPA) and provide Secretarial function (EC) the Electric Vehicles - Environment working group to help promote the deployment of electric vehicles
  • Lead the development and implementation of a workplan to explore battery durability issues and related test procedures
  • Identify opportunities to incorporate GTR(s) into EC-EPA regulations (i.e., could further demonstrate commitment to the WP29 process)
  • Consider opportunities to leverage WP-29 resources and expertise to meet future domestic regulatory priorities, where appropriate
  • Promote strong/innovative leadership and processes at WP-29
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