NSW EPA trying to put the brakes on rail freight

 
Topic moved from News by bevans on 24 Feb 2020 12:09
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
In any case I was referring to the really old stuff from the 50's and 60's that SSR has bought and operating in mainline service that are much worse at polluting then 30 modern trucks.
simstrain

Fascinating. Please provide the link to the peer reviewed research work that contains this data.

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  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
I had a chat with the EPA about this and the guy on the phone told me that the discussion had been blown way out of proportion and that it was never the intent to cause mode shift from rail to road, as (and more or less quote/unquote), the EPA are not completely stupid and understand road is more pollutive than rail in most cases.

Had the EPA engaged with the rail operators from the start then things would never have got blown out of proportion.

The EPA may understand that road is more pollutive, but no government has ever taken the holistic view and factored that into its equations when considering road vs rail issues.
bingley hall
The impression i got was that the question was answered years ago (including engagement back then), but then some ministerial level attention brought it back up again, perhaps unnecessarily so in the eyes of the EPA.

I feel it was a ministerial question that got out of hand more than anything else.
  simstrain Chief Commissioner

In any case I was referring to the really old stuff from the 50's and 60's that SSR has bought and operating in mainline service that are much worse at polluting then 30 modern trucks.

Fascinating. Please provide the link to the peer reviewed research work that contains this data.
bingley hall

You don't need research it's called evolution. It is the reason why there is no lead in petrol any more and why a modern 1 litre petrol engine is more powerful then the 2.26 litre 6 cylinder engine in the 1960 FB using significantly less petrol in the process.

It's common sense that a modern truck that has to meet strict Australian equivalent euro 6 standards is going to produce less emissions then a 1950's locomotive which has no such restrictions as there is no emissions standards in Australia for locomotives. Modern locomotives and engines meet international standards even though there is no law to make them do so in Australia. If trucks have to meet these modern standards then why shouldn't the rail fleet.

While searching for emission standards I did come across this EPA document that you can look over that may be applicable to this conversation.  
https://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/~/media/EPA/Corporate%20Site/resources/air/locoemissrep.ashx
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
For my mind, I have no issue in reducing air and noise pollution from the rail industry. The issue is the time frames for the introduction. The reality is that investment into new locomotives is a multi million dollar investment for a new asset. For a business to do that they must have certainty on return.

If the EPA has spoken to industry maybe a time frame could be agreed to. Eg 10 year road map. With that they should maybe incentivise eg if a new compliant loco is purchased that a credit is provided for a certain time period to operate a loco at a lower standard. I think that was the US approach. But a long time period is needed. Requiring this immediately is not practical.

If it is overnight it will kill industry, but doing the same is not is acceptable as rail needs to improve its performance like all industries for noise and air.

I don't hold much hope for NSW EPA to have a practical approach to policy timing, for example their approach to ban MWOO (mixed waste organic) to landfarming, killed 20 year plus contracts etc based on the previous legal approach. Overnight they reacted to a report and banned it. So now it is a lawyers picnic and the NSW tax payers are paying for a reaction by them.

If they for exampled grandfathered current approvals and ban new approvals and renewals then they would have achieved without costing NSW tax payers a cent. No due to their impatience and poor strategic approach they cost industry and therefore the public heaps.

This will be the case here. They will introduce this. Cost industry heaps and the state will cough up in the other hand. They simply should require any operators in 10 years time to have conforming equipment. That way the industry will have work it out for themselves who wants to play in NSW or not.

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