Canada to adopt U.S. vehicle emissions standards, 80% cleaner than current ones

No idling, tailpipe emissions
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

The upcoming Tier 3 standard

Canada has decided to adopt the upcoming EPA Tier 3 vehicle emission standard from the US. The move makes a lot of sense because of the geographical proximity of the countries and because the Tier 3 standard is a pretty good step in the right direction.

According to the EPA, Tier 3 will, compared to the current standards, reduce non-methane organic gases (NMOG) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) by 80% for light passenger vehicles and reduce particulate matter (PM) by 70%. That's a pretty significant difference, though hopefully that will just be a 'floor' and by the 2017 phase in date, there will be many more affordable plug-in vehicles on the market that have zero tailpipe emissions, and the power grid from which they are charged will keep getting cleaner.

In the U.S., the EPA estimate that implementing this new standard would cost about $3.4 billion, but that the "annual monetized health benefits of the proposed Tier 3 standards would be between $8 and $23 billion," so it would more than pay for itself. We can probably assume that something similar will happen in canada, though will smaller numbers.

Also according to the EPA, by 2030 the Tier 3 standards would annually prevent:

• Between 820 and 2,400 premature deaths
• 3,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits
• 22,000 asthma exacerbations
• 23,000 upper and lower respiratory symptoms in children
• 1.8 million lost school days, work days and minor-restricted activities

TailpipeFlickr/CC BY 2.0

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association and the Canadian Fuels Association support the move, so there shouldn't be too much lobbying against it.

Via Government of Canada

See also: The smog in Los Angeles doesn't quite sting like it used to, but there's still work to be done

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