Mexico proposes new heavy-duty vehicle emission standards aligned with Euro VI and EPA 2010

Mexico proposes new heavy-duty vehicle emission standards aligned with Euro VI and EPA 2010

23 December 2014

Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) has proposed new heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards, aligned with current standards in place in the rest of North America and in the European Union. The current limit values in Mexico are equivalent to Euro IV or EPA 2004 standards.

The proposed modification of NOM-044-SEMARNAT-20061, published on 17 December in the Diario Oficial de la Federación, establishes maximum permissible emissions limits of total hydrocarbons, non-methane hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and particles from the tailpipe of new motors that use diesel fuel and that are used in new vehicles with a gross vehicle weight greater than 3,857 kilograms (8,500 lbs), as well as new complete vehicles with gross vehicle weight greater than 3,857 kilograms that are equipped with these motors.

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The new standards would require new heavy-duty diesel vehicles sold after 1 January 2018 to meet emissions standards equivalent to those in the United States (EPA 2010) and European Union (Euro VI). The proposal to align fully with the prevailing US and European standards in 2018 will require new vehicles to be equipped with diesel particulate filters (DPFs), advanced NOx aftertreatment, full on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems, and failsafes which ensure correct operation of emissions control systems.

Mexico
Heavy-duty diesel emissions standards in the US, European Union, and Mexico. Source: ICCT. Click to enlarge.

Formal publication opened a 60-day public comment period; following this period, a vote by COMARNAT, the national regulatory committee of SEMARNAT, will be required to finalize the standard.

SEMARNAT is the sole agency responsible for emissions standards for new vehicles in Mexico and has shared responsibility with the Ministry of Energy (SENER) for fuel quality standards.

Final adoption of the standard will virtually eliminate fine particle and black carbon emissions from new diesel trucks. With it, Mexico joins a very short list of countries (US, Canada, Japan, European Union, and South Korea) with best-in-class, filter-based standards for heavy-duty vehicles, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).

The cost-benefit analysis for the proposal, done in part using the ICCT Roadmap Model Health Module, found that in the year 2037 the new standards will prevent 6,800 premature deaths from exposure to PM2.5 emissions in urban areas.

Avoided emissions in that year will total 24,000 tons of PM2.5, 17,000 tons of black carbon, and 410,000 tons of NOx. The climate benefits of these emissions reductions will amount to the equivalent of 54 million tons of CO2 (using a 20-year global warming potential).

Net cumulative economic benefits to Mexico of the standard over the period 2018 to 2037 add up to US$123 billion. These figures do not take into account the savings in fuel consumption expected from new and more efficient engines. The new standards will also confer significant additional but as yet unquantified health benefits, including reductions in asthma, bronchitis, stroke, heart attack and other cardio and pulmonary disorders.

Not only will the standards have very important direct climate and health benefits (99% reduction in black carbon emissions from new vehicles, 98% reduction in PM emissions, and a 95% reduction in NOx), they will also enable development of additional policy measures to reduce conventional pollutants and GHG emissions from new and in-use heavy-duty trucks.

This proposal is the culmination of years of hard work, and the dedicated staff at SEMARNAT that made this happen are to be commended. The heavy-duty vehicle manufacturers also played a very positive and collaborative role in the process. It is a tremendous victory for public health, especially in cities. And the climate benefits of the reductions in black carbon emissions are also a great step forward.

Drew Kodjak, executive director of the ICCT, noted that Mexico is one of the founders of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC).

Resources

  • ICCT Policy Update: Mexico Heavy-Duty Vehicle Emissions Standards

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