HALIFAX, May 8, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, today announced that the Government of Canada is adopting strict environmental standards to reduce air emissions from ships navigating in Canadian waters.
These changes further align Canada's air emission standards with the United States. Minister Lebel also announced further measures to prevent other ship-source pollution in Canadian waters.
"The changes we are announcing today will help make our oceans and lakes cleaner by reducing ship emissions," said Minister Lebel. "Since vessels from Canada and the United States routinely travel in both countries' waters, aligning our regulations is the logical thing to do.''
It is expected that these new standards will result in an annual reduction of ship-sourced greenhouse gases (GHGs) of 9 % or 11 Mt annually by 2025.
The amendments bring new requirements into force for vessels under Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) that Canada has negotiated with international partners. They set new Canadian standards for environmental protection in seven areas.
- Canada is further aligning its emission standards with the United States with the adoption of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA). Air emissions standards under the ECA are stricter than global requirements.
- New standards will reduce allowable emissions of key air pollutants from ships. By 2020, emissions of sulphur oxide will be reduced by 96% and nitrogen oxides by 80%.
- New energy efficiency requirements will reduce GHGs emissions from international shipping. By 2025, new vessels must be 30% more energy efficient and all vessels must have energy efficiency plans.
- A new air emissions regime for Canadian vessels operating in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waters will support industry efforts to modernize their fleet while phasing in the strictest sulphur oxide standards by 2020.
- New standards will require marine diesel engines installed after January 1, 2016 to be certified to recognized US or international environmental standards.
- A new standard will help manage greywater -the water that drains from a ship's sinks, showers and laundries. Under the amendments, greywater discharged in Canadian waters (other than Arctic waters, which are subject to other standards) must not result in the deposit of solids or cause any sheen on the water.
- Updated requirements for the transfer of oil between tankers will align Canadian requirements with IMO pollution prevention standards.
"The cruise lines operating in Canada are leaders in environmentally sustainable practices, and meet or outperform all applicable international and federal air emissions requirements wherever we operate," said Greg Wirtz, president, Cruise Lines International Association - North West and Canada. "The cruise industry continues to invest in new technologies to reduce air emissions, including exhaust gas scrubbers, shore power in ports and vessel efficiency measures. We recognize that these new regulations contribute to the Canadian government's efforts to further improve Canada's air quality."
"The regulatory changes announced today are the result of much consultation on how we can better protect Canada's clean air and waterways," said Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority. "Here at the Port of Halifax, we're making progress with projects such as cruise shore power and our port environmental management system, which was the first in Canada to achieve an ISO 14001 certification in 2005."
"Protecting our air and waterways from all ship-source pollution, including greenhouse gas emissions is a priority that our government takes very seriously," added Minister Lebel. "We are making progress on our Copenhagen commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020. Canada is now halfway towards meeting this target."
The Government of Canada is committed to reducing Canada's GHG emissions, and has backed up that commitment by taking a number of measures. Here are four examples.
- Our actions include implementing regulations to reduce GHGs from coal-fired electricity plants, which will reduce GHGs by 214 megatonnes over the period 2015-2035. Canada is the only nation with regulations banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology. As well, we now require all existing plants to shut down on a schedule, making Canada the first country in the world to do so.
- We are implementing regulations to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. With these tough new measures, GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 per cent.
- The government is consulting on regulations for cars and light trucks for model years 2017 to 2025. Our action to date will see GHGs from cars and light trucks fall by up to 50% by 2025 compared to 2008 models.
- We are implementing regulations requiring 5% renewable fuel in gasoline.
Transport Canada engaged numerous stakeholders including the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Coast Guard.
The Regulations Amending the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on July 21, 2012.
Regulations amending the
Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations
The Regulations Amending the Vessel Pollution and Dangerous Chemicals Regulations introduce strict environmental standards that will help prevent deliberate, negligent and accidental discharge of vessel-source pollutants into Canadian waters.
The amendments set new stricter Canadian standards for environmental protection and apply to vessels under Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization's International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), which Canada has negotiated with international partners including the United States.
Canada is further aligning its emission standards with the United States with the adoption of the North American Emission Control Area
The amendments adopt the North American Emission Control Area (ECA), which was adopted by the IMO in March 2010 and applies to ships of 400 GT and above navigating in designated coastal waters under the jurisdictions of Canada, the United States and France (for Saint-Pierre and Miquelon) south of 60° north latitude. Air emissions standards under the ECA are stricter than global requirements. It sets an initial 1 per cent limit on content of marine fuel, followed by a 0.1 per cent limit that will come into effect in 2015. It also sets standards that lower nitrogen oxide emissions for vessels transiting these waters.
Reducing allowable emissions of certain air pollutants from vessels
Exhaust emissions from vessels contain sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Health Canada and Environment Canada conducted research on these pollutants and found that emissions of these pollutants from vessels were growing significantly and would adversely affect public health and the environment.
In accordance with MARPOL Annex VI, new standards to reduce emissions of key air pollutants from Canadian vessels operating overseas are coming into force. These standards will reduce ship-source emissions of sulphur oxide by 96% and nitrogen oxides by 80% by 2020. They lower how much sulphur can be in fuel and require adjustments to vessels' engines. These requirements apply to vessels of 400 gross tonnage (GT) and above, except for domestic vessels that voyage only in Canadian waters. Compliance with the new requirements will ensure Canadian vessels can access ports around the world.
Raise energy efficiency requirements for vessels
Vessels of 400 GT and above that built after June 30, 2013, must meet new energy efficiency standards that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% by 2025. This does not apply to domestic vessels voyaging only in Canadian waters. The amended regulations also require new and existing vessels of 400 GT and above to have plans on board stating how each vessel will increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Creating a new air emissions regime for Canadian vessels operating in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence
Known as fleet averaging, it allows compliance with the new emissions requirements to be determined by a firm's fleet overall. Between 2013 and 2020, the standard will progressively reduce allowable sulphur dioxide emissions until they match those of the ECA. By 2020, individual vessels will be required to meet the sulphur limits.
Establishing new standards for managing greywater discharges
Under the amendments, greywater (drainage from vessels' sinks, laundries and kitchens) discharged Canadian waters (other than Arctic waters, which are subject to other standards) must not result in the deposit of solids or cause any sheen on the water. In addition, new vessels carrying more than 500 passengers must treat greywater before discharging it, or store it in holding tanks before discharging it at least three nautical miles from shore.
Setting new standards for smaller marine diesel engines
New standards will require smaller new marine diesel engines installed after January 1, 2016, to be certified to meet either the United States "Category 2" standards, or an equivalent international standard.
Improving transfer of oil between tankers at sea
These changes will align Canadian requirements to updated IMO standards to prevent marine pollution, by requiring oil tankers of 150 GT or more to carry plans on board for ship-to-ship oil transfer operations at sea. They will also be required to give advance notice of transfer operations.
SOURCE: Transport Canada