Locomotive emissions with the Railway Association of Canada: environmental performance agreement overview

Note: This Agreement is no longer in effect.

This environmental performance agreement (the agreement) was in effect from May 15th  2007, to December 31, 2010.

For a copy of the agreement, email: ec.epa-epe.ec@canada.ca

Objective

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a framework through which the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), its member companies (listed in the Annex 1 of the agreement), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Transport Canada (TC) will address emissions of criteria air contaminants (CAC) and greenhouse gases (GHG) from railway locomotives operated by railway companies in Canada.

Signatories

The MOU has been negotiated between Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Railway Association of Canada, on behalf of its member companies.

Targets

GHG-related commitments: to achieve by 2010 aggregate GHG emissions intensity levels.

CAC-related commitments: to increase the number of locomotives meeting U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions standards and to retire older locomotives.

Performance results

The report Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program 2009 demonstrates progress achieved by railway operators in meeting 2010 GHG efficiency-based targets set out in the MOU as well as commitments related to emissions of criteria air contaminants. The 2006, 2007 and 2008 reports were also published by the RAC, under the MOU from 2006-2010.

Progress on GHG commitments

Analysis of railway data for 2008 shows that GHG emissions intensities (as CO2 equivalent per productivity unit) compared to the target levels set out in the MOU for 2010 by category of railway line-haul operation were:

Analysis of railway data for 2008 shows that GHG emissions intensities (as CO2 equivalent per productivity unit) compared to the target levels set out in the MOU for 2010 by category of railway line-haul operation were: Railway Operation: Class 1 Freight. In 2006: 17.79 kg per 1000 RTK, 2007: 17.32 kg per 1000 RTK, 2008: 17.61 kg per 1000 RTK. MOU 2010 target: 16.98 kg per 1000 RTK Railway Operation: Regional and Short Lines, Units: kg per 1000 RTK. In 2006: 15.10 kg per 1000 RTK, 2007: 15.21 kg per 1000 RTK, 2008: 15.80 kg per 1000 RTK. MOU 2010 target: 15.38 kg per 1000 RTK Railway Operation: Intercity Passenger. In 2006: 0.13 kg per passenger-km, 2007: 0.13 kg per passenger-km, 2008: 0.12 kg per passenger-km. MOU 2010 target: 0.12 kg per passenger-km Railway Operation: Commuter Rail. In 2006: 1.74 kg per passenger, 2007: 1.71 kg per passenger, 2008: 1.74 kg per passenger. MOU 2010 target: 1.46 kg per passenger

Progress on CAC commitments

In meeting the CAC commitments under the MOU, the railways have focused primarily on purchasing new freshly-manufactured locomotives meeting the agreement Tier 2 emissions standard and retiring 1973-99 era medium-horsepower locomotives.

Verification results

The following summary of the third party verification was published in the 2008 Locomotive Emissions Monitoring (LEM) program annual report: 

"As required under Section 5.3 the 2006-2010 LEM MOU, an audit of the 2007 LEM reporting process was conducted in 2009. The findings of the audit determined that some of the values in the 2007 Actions Taken table were misstated or reported incorrectly. As a result, the 2007 inventory required revisions to the number of locomotives reported in the total Class I freight fleet. The 2007 values listed in the Actions Taken table and the 2007 Locomotive Fleet have been revised and will be shown throughout this 2008 LEM Report. The impact of these inventory revisions on the reported 2007 emissions was minimal.  

The recommendations of the audit related to data collection methodologies influence the results of follow-on annual LEM reports. The recommendations have been incorporated into data collection and calculations for this 2008 LEM report."

Background information

On April 26, 2007, the Government introduced mandatory reduction targets for all major industries that produce greenhouse gases. The Government also set smog-forming emissions targets that will help clean our air and protect the health of Canadians. The complete text is posted on the regulatory framework website.

The transportation sector, as a major contributor to both air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, will also have to meet stringent targets and standards. Regarding locomotive emissions, the Government will

"support an MOU with the Railway Association of Canada that is consistent with the U.S. air pollution standards and that ensures that the rail industry continues to improve its greenhouse gas emission performance during the period 2006-2010. Once the MOU expires, the voluntary approach will be replaced with a regulatory regime. The Minister of Transport will implement new regulations, under the Railway Safety Act, to take effect in 2011."

Fulfilling this commitment, ECCC, TC and the Railway Association of Canada agreed on a draft MOU that meets the criteria of ECCC’s policy framework for Environmental Performance Agreements.

The draft MOU was posted on ECCC’s Environmental Performance Agreements website for a 15-day public consultation period, which ended on April 20, 2007. Based on the comments received, it was decided to not modify the draft MOU. The MOU was signed by the Ministers of Environment and Transport and the President of the Railway Association of Canada on May 15, 2007.

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Environment and Climate Change Canada
351 Blvd Saint-Joseph
Gatineau QC K1A 0H3

Email: ec.epa-epe.ec@canada.ca

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