Lessons learned on the NRMM regulation
- Most of the countries reviewed adopt the power criterion to classify engine or machinery types. However, not all of them comprise the same categories in their regulation, which may result in some types of engines or machinery being left out of the regulation. The United States and the European Union are a good example in terms of categories included, as they cover all existing power ranges in the market, and combustion ignition types (spark and compression ignition), while countries such as Colombia and Chile, for example, do not include heavy machinery (above 560 kW) or spark ignition.
- Most of the instruments identified for the control of NRMM emissions in the case review belong to the mandatory administrative group, followed by voluntary participation instruments and lastly by economic incentives. The command-and-control instruments pose a great challenge to the inspection capacity. Based on previous international experience, the recommendation is to have different types of instruments that complement each other.
- Of the countries reviewed that have emission standards, all have emission limits for particulate matter (fine and respirable), nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. Countries such as China, India, Chile (to come into force in 2023) and the EU countries also have regulations on particulate matter concentration. China and India have standards for ammonia.
- By 2021, 13 countries and regions among those reviewed already had emission standards in place, the most advanced being the European Union countries with the implementation of Stage V standards, followed by Korea, Japan and India with Stage IV, and the United States with Tier 4 Final. Of the Latin American countries analysed, only Brazil has emission limits in place, while Chile and Colombia have emission standards that will come into force in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
- According to the regulations identified for the different case studies, it can be observed that the control and inspection processes are generally concentrated in the production, import and type-approval stages of NRMM. Under this approach, registration processes become fundamental for the control and inspection mechanisms of NRMM. The importance of having a registry of machinery as one of the first steps for the control of machinery and its emissions was a common recommendation among different experts from the region interviewed during the development of the study.
- In the operation stage, the most common practice identified for control and inspection is the development of random tests to verify the emission levels of NRMM.
- Two different objectives were found in the NRMM labelling practices: i) the identification of general technical aspects of NRMM; ii) the unique identification of the NRMM emissions level. Despite this difference, information on the level of emissions is always included.
- In the NRMM regulation of the United States, Canada, Brazil, the European Union and China, guidelines are issued that cover at least one of the following aspects of machinery end-of-life: NRMM useful life, repowering, overhaul and scrapping practices. In cases such as the United States, Canada, Chile and China, regulation is associated with the control of air pollutant emission levels. In Brazil and the European Union, the guidelines focus on solid waste management.
- An indirect way to monitor the useful life of machinery is the one proposed by the European Union, which requires frequent maintenance and emissions testing throughout the NRMM operation.
- In terms of NRMM operation and road circulation requirements, a wide range of aspects were identified as being covered by the regulation in the case studies. Overall, these can be classified into environmental requirements, related to emission levels of air pollutants and noise; and safety requirements, which are the most common, and include aspects such as speed of circulation, zones where NRMM is allowed to circulate, hours of circulation, ways to move machinery between sites, licensing and training requirements for operators.
Opportunities for countries in the Latin American region and the NRMM regulation
- Although the definition of emission limits is fundamental for the control of NRMM emissions, in contexts such as those of Latin American countries, where difficulties in the control and compliance with environmental regulations are evident, other complementary instruments should be considered. The review of international cases shows examples of voluntary instruments and incentives that could be taken into consideration in Latin America.
- Effective regulation of NRMM emission limits must be accompanied by programmes on best practices in machinery operation and maintenance.
- Other instruments that can also contribute to the reduction of NRMM pollution include local decontamination plans, implementation of sustainable building standards, private sector sustainability plans and greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.
- There is synergy between NRMM pollution reduction and other environmental programmes. This can be achieved by linking NRMM regulation with national or local air quality programmes already in place (e.g., Asia Pacific and India), as well as with greenhouse gas emission mitigation programmes. It highlights the contribution that the C40 Clean Construction Declaration seeks to make, which calls for commitment at the highest political level in cities to move towards the elimination of fossil fuel use in machinery. The operation and inspection of machinery could be more efficient if linked to the construction permits issued by local or state authorities for their works.
- The specificities of each sector that uses machinery (construction, mining, industry, agriculture, forestry) should be considered to establish the regulatory approach for NRMM according to its context and impact. There are sectors where regulation must be prioritized due to the high levels of exposure for the operators or for the population around the area of influence of the NRMM emissions. For example, it is possible to make exclusions for social and/or economic reasons, as is the case with the agricultural sector in several of the cases analysed.
- A review of international case studies shows that the control of NRMM requires coordinated work between different sectors of national governments. The most common at the national level are the environmental, transport, finance and trade sectors. In turn, coordination with regional and local level institutions is required.
- The private sector has a key role to play in reducing air pollution generated by NRMM. It can be a leader in the implementation of socially and environmentally responsible practices, by anticipating and cooperating with the public sector. These practices can in turn be encouraged and recognised by the government sector as they are currently being implemented.
- Working together in the countries of the region to develop instruments for the control of NRMM emissions makes it possible to take advantage of the lessons learned in the different countries at the regional level. In addition, joining the efforts of the community of practice in the region is an effective way to overcome some of the limitations of individual countries, such as those related to the verification of engine emission limits.
Leading practices in the control of NRMM
- It highlights the US focus on emissions control with emphasis on the manufacturing stages of engines and on the certification of engines after passing tests to ensure that they will maintain desirable emission levels throughout their useful life. In this respect, manufacturers are largely responsible for emissions and not only the user of the machinery. This approach poses the challenge of monitoring the time of use for which the emissions certificate was issued. The state of California has implemented the DOORS platform for machinery owners to register the equipment purchased and scrapped each year, which also allows them to monitor the operating time of the machinery. This is a model with defined roles and responsibilities that allows the traceability of the machinery from its manufacture, the time of use and the time of its final disposal or need for repowering.
- From the private sector, the case presented by Ferreycorp Peru, shows new service schemes for NRMM that include preventive maintenance, repair and repowering, with certification through joint work between manufacturers and a team of technical experts in the region. These schemes provide advantages for users in the form of competitive costs for purchasing NRMM and maintenance services, and also offer advantages in technical and environmental terms through the development of services certified by the manufacturer in terms of machine performance.
- Regulation in the EU, Switzerland and the UK shows the advantages of establishing regulations that summarise in a concise and practical way the classification of NRMM types, reducing the risk of loopholes.
- Japan’s regulation is notable for its clarity in terms of penalties for non-compliance.