NRDC Urges Mexico to Harmonize Heavy Truck Emissions with U.S., Canada
Group Urges Adoption Despite Resistance from Industry Groups
Following the COP 21 Paris climate talks in September, government regulators and environmental activists have a renewed zeal to reduce pollution and what they perceive as threats to the environment and causes of climate change. The Washington D.C.-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has released a statement urging Mexico’s agency in charge of regulating commercial vehicles to harmonize its standards with the U.S. and Canada. The standard revision, if approved, would be the first since 2006.
Mexico City has long suffered from poor air quality due to its less stringent emissions standards than the U.S., as well as its high elevation of nearly 8,000 feet, which can compound the effects of pollution. Allies of the NRDC held a telephone press conference in Mexico City, urging adoption of the draft standards, known as NOM-044, noting the recent four-day emergency air pollution alert in Mexico City, in which more than 1 million older vehicles were ordered off the road in the Mexico City metropolitan area. Residents were also urged to limit outdoor activity due to elevated surface ozone levels.
The standards call for a drastic cut in particulate matter and black carbon emissions. One of the key enablers of adopting the standard is availability of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, which has a standard of 10-15 parts-per-million (PPM) of sulfur, compared to the currently available diesel fuel in Mexico, which contains 500 PPM. Ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel is expected to be available nationwide in Mexico starting in 2017.
Source: Natural Resources Defense Council