Advice to Council 01-01 — North American Trade and Transportation Corridors

J/01-01/ADV/01-01/Rev. 5

North American Trade and Transportation Corridors

The Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC);

IN ACCORDANCE with its mandate to provide advice to Council under Article 16.4 of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC);

HAVING participated in the very successful CEC workshop on Trade and Transportation Corridors on 15 March 2001 in Winnipeg, Canada and further discussed the subject in a public plenary during JPAC’s Regular Session 01-01 the following day; and

IN LIGHT of the notable increases in trade within the North American transportation corridors since the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the consequent air emissions problems in the corridors across North America, including impacts on children’s health and biodiversity, the JPAC respectfully advises the Council to continue this cooperative work in conjunction with our recommendation below:

1. A group of stakeholders (including all levels of government, private sector, communities including indigenous, academia and representatives from successful growth management projects), should select a pilot transportation transborder corridor through a criteria process to:

  • Develop and coordinate an integrated process that is open and accountable with a commitment to continuous improvement (continuous data collection), and extend data gathering beyond borders; and
  • Encourage the CEC Secretariat to devise an outreach program targeted to these stakeholders.

2. The objective will be to create an optimal transportation plan in that pilot sector for a clean corridor program involving cross border cooperation as a template for new policy initiatives.

  • The group should first review the experience of existing programs (i.e., the International Clean Transportation Corridor 3, the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management) in order to assess compatibility of different initiatives in the various corridors and expand current programs where appropriate, through policy initiatives;
  • Consider the mitigation options contained in the ICF Report, in particular harmonization of fuel and retrofit standards; and
  • As a next step, the group should consider the following based on resources and priorities:

a) Integrate land-use considerations in the transportation process (defining growth and non-growth areas);
b) Obtain input from effected communities on the future direction of planned transportation initiatives;
c) Develop ways to create and maintain comparable data sets in the NAFTA countries in order to ensure continued success of the plan;
d) Conduct risk assessment and develop a risk management plan for emissions and their impacts on human health; and
e) Promote financial incentives, such as tax credits, for encouraging green corridor activities.

3. In the long term, any planning and implementation of multi-modal centers including the interaction and possible competition between cross-border transportation modes should include consideration of the environmental benefits taking into account the different legal systems of the three countries.