Regulatory Partnership Statement Under the U.S. - Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council Between Transport Canada and the United States Environmental Protection Agency

Regulatory area to be addressed

This Statement confirms the mutual desire of Transport Canada (TC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) to work together and with their respective stakeholders, to promote regulatory cooperation and alignment. This will be achieved through activities such as joint consultations, collaborative policy and regulatory development, information sharing, research and technical collaboration, and/or reviews of existing regulatory processes and programs.

This Statement is meant to articulate a common desire to move forward, where practical and in accordance with each country’s domestic laws, under a structured framework that favours collaboration early in the regulatory process and affords stakeholders opportunities to provide input, inform strategies, identify priorities and discuss progress on the implementation of initiatives as appropriate.

This Statement covers the commitments agreed to by the U.S. EPA and TC according to the Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) Joint Forward Plan (included here at Annex A). These commitments can be added to or adjusted by the two parties as deemed appropriate.

Transport Canada and U.S. EPA have established:

  • the overarching governance framework that will guide cooperative work between the U.S. EPA and TC;
  • predictable priority-setting and work planning processes;
  • a role for Canadian and U.S. stakeholders to provide input in the collaborative work to be carried out under this effort.

GOVERNANCE

The strategic guidance and oversight for the implementation of the activities under this Statement, including those found in technical and other work plans, shall be provided by senior officials from TC in Canada and the EPA in the U.S.

  • Overall accountability rests with the Director General, Environmental Policy for TC and the Director, Transportation and Climate Division, Office of Transportation and Air Quality for the U.S. EPA.
  • Meetings will be used to discuss current and longer-term alignment and cooperation opportunities and to review the continued relevance and timeliness of the joint cooperation agenda.
  • The parties plan to hold an annual meeting of accountable senior officials, and will endeavor to hold the first such meeting in Spring 2015.
  • Stakeholders will be given the opportunity to provide input into these discussions.

REVIEW OF WORK PLANS

Meetings will be used to discuss priorities and to assess the progress of current work plan activities. As commitments annexed to this Statement do not capture all regulatory cooperation efforts, additional commitments, as well as updates and revisions to them, may be made in the course of regular planning between the parties.

  • Managers responsible for specific work plan activities shall report on their progress, including whether the project is on track to meet work plan milestones, stakeholder concerns that need to be addressed bi-nationally, or any systemic obstacles that require broader consultation.
  • The parties intend to update work plans annually to reflect changing circumstances and the emergence of new opportunities

STAKEHOLDERS

TC and the U.S. EPA plan to give stakeholders meaningful and regular opportunities to provide input on operational and strategic issues to be addressed under the terms of this Statement. 

Specifically, key stakeholders from both countries are encouraged to provide:

  1. their views to government officials on alignment opportunities; and
  2. information on significant industry and consumer trends and the potential implications and impacts they may have on their business and regulators.

Although TC and U.S. EPA would appreciate all types of feedback, coordinated U.S. and Canadian stakeholder feedback may be especially valuable. The working group leads will work to provide regular updates to stakeholders at least one time during the calendar year. TC and U.S. EPA are also open to other forms of stakeholder engagement, and as part of this Regulatory Partnership, we will work together to collect feedback from stakeholders.

GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS

This Statement is not legally-binding, and nothing herein is intended to give rise to rights or obligations under domestic or international law.

This Statement in no way displaces, alters or supersedes existing agreements under which TC or the U.S. EPA are currently working collaboratively. 

It is understood that priorities established under this Statement or in related work plans do not supersede other regulatory priorities that may be established by the parties.

For greater certainty, this Statement does not displace, alter, supersede or amend any existing bi-national or international agreements, treaties or protocols already ratified by the respective governments.

ANNEX A
CANADA-U.S. REGULATORY COOPERATION COUNCIL JOINT FORWARD PLAN COMMITMENT
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY / TRANSPORT CANADA

Locomotive Emissions: Transport Canada (TC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will build on the already extensive collaboration and coordination between both governments to improve the alignment of greenhouse gas protocols and air pollutant regulations for locomotives including coordination of regulatory agendas, joint work to develop new requirements, and the sharing of research and compliance data and information. More specifically, TC and the EPA will work with key stakeholders to finalize a Canada-U.S. Voluntary Action Plan to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Locomotives. This will provide a framework for working together into the future and include regular reporting on progress.

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