Canada has aligned new vehicle and fuel standards with the United States to cut air pollution from on-road vehicles. Canada’s Tier 3 regulations will introduce more stringent air pollutant emission standards for new passenger cars, light-duty trucks and certain heavy-duty vehicles (such as delivery vans) starting with the 2017 model year. They will also lower limits on the allowable sulfur content of gasoline beginning in 2017, aligning Canadian standards with the United States.
The transportation sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions and is a major source of smog-forming air pollutant emissions. Air pollutant emissions from vehicles and fuels continue to decrease as a result of regulatory actions. Specifically, total emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from passenger vehicles and light trucks operated on Canadian roads have decreased by almost 40 percent from 2006 to 2013.
Once fully phased-in, the Tier 3 standards for emissions of smog-forming air pollutants from new vehicles will be up to 80% more stringent than the current Tier 2 standards. By 2030, the Tier 3 vehicle and fuel standards are expected to result in reductions in on-road vehicle fleet emissions of sulfur dioxide (43%); carbon monoxide (22%); volatile organic compounds (15%); NOx (13%); fine particulate matter (8%); and certain other air pollutants.
Canada estimated that by 2030, the Tier 3 vehicle and fuel standards will result in cumulative health and environmental benefits of $7.5 billion and cumulative fuel and vehicle related costs of $2.7 billion. Accordingly, the projected benefits would exceed the projected costs by a ratio of almost 3:1.
The projected health benefits from the Tier 3 vehicle and fuel standards are significant. Between 2017 and 2030, it is estimated that reductions in air pollutants from vehicles will prevent about 1,400 premature deaths, nearly 200,000 days of asthma symptoms and 2.8 million days of acute respiratory problems in Canada.