September 19, 2005

NRCan, EPA sign pact to promote cuts in emissions, energy use by freight, shipping sectors

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are joining forces to encourage North American freight and shipping industries to take voluntary actions to save fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants. NRCan and the EPA signed an agreement on September 14, pledging to co-operate and share information on research, development and projects to achieve these goals.

"This agreement allows our two countries and the North American freight and shipping industries to address the problem of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change much more effectively than we can individually," said NRCan Minister John Efford, adding, "this kind of co-operation will bring real energy, economic and environmental benefits."

EPA acting Assistant Administrator Bill Wehrum observed that "by working together, the agencies better leverage public resources and present a much-welcomed unified program for the freight industry. We'll get even more impressive environmental and public health benefits, while helping the freight industry save on fuel costs."

NRCan and the EPA will initially co-ordinate numerous cross-border emissions projects, including engine-idling reduction from trucks crossing the Canada-U.S. border, joint clean technology promotions and demonstrations, and truck driver training and awareness programs.

The two agencies have separate, yet complementary, approaches to saving fuel and reducing emissions. NRCan's FleetSmart program is an educational and training-based initiative that focuses on fuel-efficient driver behaviour. EPA's SmartWay Transport(R) Partnership emphasizes the use of innovative technology by rail and heavy-duty fleets. Both organizations say their collaboration will bring the benefits of both programs to the North American freight and shipping industries.

More information on the FleetSmart Program is available at http://oee.nrcan.gc.ca/transportation/fleetsmart.cfm and on the SmartWay Transport Partnership at www.epa.gov/smartway.

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