Canada's Environment Minister released a consultation paper on the development of proposed regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles.

Canada and the United States are taking a common North American approach, and Canada intends to implement regulations with the 2014 model year in alignment with the United States. This week, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration unveiled the first-ever fuel economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

"We are moving forward with our sector by sector approach to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in coordination with the United States," said Peter Kent, Canada's Environment Minister. "Building on our successful collaboration with the United States on the development of common North American standards for light-duty vehicles, we are also working together to do the same for heavy-duty vehicles."

This consultation paper is intended to provide another opportunity for interested parties to submit early comments prior to publishing proposed regulations. Proposed regulations are targeted for publication early in 2012 for a 60-day comment period.

The proposed regulations would seek to reduce emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of the whole range of new on-road heavy-duty vehicles, from full-size pick-up trucks to tractor-trailers, and include a wide variety of vocational vehicles such as freight, delivery, service, cement, garbage and dump trucks, as well as buses. The proposed regulations would also seek to promote the implementation of advanced technology vehicles such as hybrid and electric vehicles.

Reducing emissions in the transportation sector is a key component in the Government's plan to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 17% from 2005 levels by 2020.

In addition to the proposed heavy-duty regulations, the Canadian government has also finalized regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger vehicles and mandated a requirement for an average of 5% renewable content in gasoline, and 2% content for diesel and heating oil.