Overview of the Locomotive Emissions Regulations

From Transport Canada

Locomotives produce criteria air contaminants. More commonly known as air pollutants, these emissions harm our health and the environment. To help reduce these harmful emissions from locomotives, we have developed regulations under the Railway Safety Act.

The Locomotive Emissions Regulations came into force on June 9, 2017. They apply only to railway companies that the federal government regulates and the locomotives they operate. They do not apply to local railway companies.

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Why these regulations are important

Criteria air contaminants are pollutants that get into the air when we burn fossil fuels (such as gas, oil and coal). These emissions produce smog and acid rain, which have an impact on our health and the environment. With rail traffic expected to grow, it is important to keep emissions as low as possible, especially for communities along train tracks.

These regulations closely match U.S. regulations. This allows railway companies to conduct business on both sides of the border and meet the same environmental standards.

Reducing these emissions is good for the health and quality of life of all Canadians.

Key requirements of the regulations

To comply with the regulations, the railway companies must:

  • meet the emission standards set out for new locomotives
  • carry out emissions testing
  • follow labelling and anti-idling requirements
  • keep records
  • file reports with Transport Canada

Contact Rail Safety

If you have questions on the regulations:

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