Cleaner trucks south of the border just what the doctor ordered

Mexico, not unlike many other countries, is committed to reducing transport sector emissions. I wrote not long ago of the country’s plan to add high-speed rail service between Guadalajara, Jalisco and Mexico City. This is both a huge undertaking and a big positive.

But, this is not all the country situated to the south of the U.S.’s southern border is planning to make air there even cleaner.

Two Cycle Diesel engine with Roots blower
Two Cycle Diesel engine with Roots blower

In a press release from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) titled: “Mexico’s new world-class heavy-duty vehicle emission standards show vision and leadership,” and dated Dec. 22, 2014, emphasized is: “The achievement by Mexico’s Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in proposing new heavy-duty vehicle emissions standards, aligned with standards in place in the rest of North America and in the European Union, places Mexico at the forefront of clean vehicle policy in Latin America and other rapidly growing vehicle markets worldwide. Formal publication of the proposal on December 17, 2014, opened a 60-day public comment period. 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 (U.S., Canada, Japan, European Union, and South Korea) with best-in-class, filter-based standards for heavy-duty vehicles.”

Awesome, awesome news!

It was, moreover, noted in the release, these being the world-class standards that they are, will provide air quality, climate, health among other benefits for both consumers and industry.

“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 [fine particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter] emissions in urban areas,” the ICCT continued. “Avoided emissions in that year will total 24,000 tons of PM2.5 [98 percent particulate-matter-emissions reduction], 17,000 tons of black carbon [99 percent black-carbon-emissions reduction], and 410,000 tons of NOX [95 percent reduction in emissions of nitrogen oxides]. The climate benefits of these emissions reductions will amount to the equivalent of 54 million tons of CO2 [carbon dioxide] (using a 20-year global warming potential). Net cumulative economic benefits to Mexico of the standard over the period of 2018 to 2037 add up to US$123 billion.”

Information outlined in the ICCT document indicates anticipated fuel-consumption savings resulting from the improved efficiency of new heavy-duty, internal-combustion diesel engines. Additional but as yet unquantified health benefits will be conferred related to decreases in incidences of asthma, bronchitis, heart attack, stoke in addition to other cardiovascular and respiratory related disorders all attributed to the new standards being put in place.

“‘Strong campaigns by local [non-governmental organizations] have raised awareness in Mexico of the impacts of particulate matter and black carbon, helping to move this regulation forward. Our community will work to ensure adoption and proper implementation, and is already seeking opportunities to accelerate fleet renovation and adoption of the cleanest technologies,’” Mexican Environmental Law Center (CEMDA) Director General Gustavo Alanis-Ortega expressed in the release.

This is one among numerous, continuing strategies in helping to make emissions from the transportation sector cleaner.

Image above: Pearson Scott Foresman

– Alan Kandel