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Non-Road Diesel

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Why do we need non-road diesel engine regulation?
Reducing diesel emissions is the most important step we can take to improve air quality and public health in Metro Vancouver. Emissions of diesel soot (particulate matter) are responsible for 67% of the lifetime cancer risk from air pollution in Metro Vancouver. The regulation will promote the reduction of these emissions from non-road machines that are often operated close to where people live, work and play.
What is a Non-Road Diesel Engine?
Diesel engines used in construction, industrial, commercial or stationary machines not used or intended for transportation on public roads are considered to be non-road diesel engines. 
Examples include:
  • excavators  
  • graders  
  • backhoes
  • skid steers  
  • forklifts  
  • cranes
  • grinders  
  • compressors  
  • generators
  • light towers
Who does the regulation apply to?
The regulation applies if you own or operate a non-road diesel engine in Metro Vancouver that is 25hp or greater.  The regulation focuses on older (Tier 0 and Tier 1) engines but also limits the exhaust opacity and idling of all non-road diesel engines.
Are there any exemptions to the regulation?

The regulation does not apply to:
• any engines less than 25 hp
• agricultural and recreational equipment engaged in those activities
• emergency / standby generators
• marine vessels
• line haul locomotives
• on-road vehicles

What are the key requirements of the regulation?

Owners and operators of machines with Tier 0 and Tier 1 engines must:

  • register the engine/machine
  • label the machine
  • Pay fees to operate the machine in Metro Vancouver

Owners and operators of all non-road diesel engines 25 hp or greater must comply with Emission opacity restrictions Idling restrictions

My diesel powered machine has a licence plate that allows travel on public roads. Is the machine still considered as a non-road machine?
If your diesel powered machine is not primarily used or intended to be used for transportation on a public street, road or highway then the engine in the machine is considered as a non-road engine and the regulation will apply.
Are machines used for agricultural operations exempt from the regulation?
How do I register my engine?
Register your engine by using the online registration and payment system available at:
What information is required for registration?

The online registration system will require:

  • maximum engine horsepower
  • engine manufacture year
  • engine serial number
  • engine manufacturer
  • engine model
  • engine family name (Tier 1 only)
  • machine type
  • machine manufacturer
  • machine VIN (vehicle identification number)
  • machine model number
  • company details
  • contact details
  • credit card details
What if I can’t find my engine serial number?
If the engine serial number cannot be located, you can:
  • contact the manufacturer for assistance 
  • check the equipment documentation
  • provide the machine VIN and engine model during the online registration process 
What are my operating period options?


Recommended for engines used on a regular basis and is valid for any consecutive 365 day period.

Valid for any consecutive 30 day period.

Intended for very short term use. Valid for up to a consecutive 14 day period.

Annual Low-use
The low use option is valid for 200 hours in any consecutive 365 day period.  The registrant is required to keep records of use and to notify the district director before each time the machine is used. 

Refer to the fee break even points for the operating periods.

How do I register an engine manufactured for use outside of North America or the European Union?
Engines manufactured for markets outside of North America and the European Union are assumed to be Tier 0 unless it can be demonstrated otherwise by the registrant.  
The registrant will:
  • Register the engine using the online registration application 
  • Pay for an operating period before operation of the engine 
  • Provide supporting documentation of PM emission  rates of the engine to the District Director for review
  • If documentation supports a higher engine tier classification, a refund will be issued to registrant
The onus is on the registrant to provide supporting documentation about the PM emission rates of the engine.
What are the penalties if I operate in Metro Vancouver and don’t register or pay for an operating period for my Tier 0 or Tier 1 powered machine?
Failure to comply with the regulation is an offence and may result in:
  • tickets ($1,000 max)
  • fines ($200,000 max)

Tier 0 non-road diesel engines cannot be operated in Metro Vancouver after January 1, 2015 unless they have been registered and had a valid operating period purchased for at least 90 days before January 1, 2015.

The same applies for Tier 1 engines after January 1, 2020.

What happens if I cancel my operating period?
If an operating period is cancelled, a refund of the unused portion, less a $15 administration fee, will be issued to the registrant. The registrant can then select a new operating period and pay the applicable fees for the new operating period.

Note: There are no refunds for the annual low use operating period option.
Who is responsible to ensure that contractors and sub-contractors working on my site are in compliance with the Non-Road Diesel Engine Emissions Regulation Bylaw 1161?
The regulation was written in a way that makes everyone responsible. It states a “person” must not discharge, or cause, permit, or allow the discharge of any air contaminant into the environment from a non-road diesel engine unless in compliance with the regulation. It then defines a person as the operator of the equipment, the owner of the equipment, the land owner, a government body, or any director, officer, employee or an agent of a person or government body.
What if I experience problems accessing the online registration application?


If you are unable to register your engine due to the Non Road Diesel Registration System being unavailable, you will NOT be considered out of compliance. However, it is your responsibility to log back into the system to complete your engine registration in a timely manner once the system is available.


If you experience problems accessing the registration system outside of business hours, please email us at nonroaddiesel@metrovancouver.orgAlternatively, to speak to us please contact us during business hours at 604-432-6200 for assistance

How do I enter hours for my Annual Low Use Operating Period?


When a Low Use Annual Operating Period is purchased, you are required to submit the hours that the engine will be used prior to operation.

  1. Select the engine from theMy engines’ list by clicking the Registration Number (eg 0115)
  2. Under "What would you like to do?", select the "Enter Low Use Hours" link
  3. Under "Enter Low Use Hours" section, enter the date, number of hours and location of the engine to be operated
  4. Click Add
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for additional dates

Add all the future operating days, hours and locations for the engine as required.

Please note:

  • You cannot enter dates that occur in the past
  • You cannot delete entries for today’s date
  • When 200 hours are reached, the operating period will expire and a new operating period must be purchased
How do I renew an engine operating period?
  1. Login to the NRDE Registration System
  2. Select the engine that requires a renewal under “My Engine Listings”
  3. Under “What would you like to do” select “Step 2: Select Operating Period”
  4. Select the operating period type (e.g. Annual)
  5. Click on the calendar icon to select your start date
  6. Click the button labelled “Calculate Operating Period Fee”
  7. Click the button labelled “Add to Cart”
  8. Click the button labelled “Proceed to Checkout”
  9. Select your payment method (Credit Card or Cheque)

***If paying by credit card:  Click the button labelled “Pay Now”

***If paying by cheque:  Click the button labelled “Generate Cheque Payment Invoice”


How do I obtain my labels?
A set of Tier labels and your Registration Number labels will be mailed to you after you register your non-road diesel engine with Metro Vancouver. You are required to affix these labels to opposite sides of your machine.
How do I label my machine?
You are required to label the opposite sides of your machine with a Tier label and Registration Number label. If you need to operate before receiving the Metro Vancouver issued labels, you can paint or otherwise permanently affix your own labels. The registration number is unique for each machine you register, which can be found when logged in to your account on the online registration system.
The following are requirements for labeling using either the provided labels or your own labels:
  • Painted on or otherwise permanently affixed on both sides of the exterior housing of the machine
  • In black characters at least 15 cm tall and 10 cm wide on a yellow or white background
  • Located at least 1.5 m above or as high as possible on smaller machines
  • Visible and legible at all times during operation
I haven’t received my labels in the mail. What do I do?
You can use temporary labels until the issued labels arrive in the mail. 
You can paint or otherwise permanently affix your own labels, provided that you follow the labelling requirements.
How do I obtain replacement registration labels?

If the tier and registration labels provided by Metro Vancouver are lost or destroyed, you can paint or otherwise permanently affix your own labels on opposite sides of the exterior housing of the machine in black characters at least 15 cm tall and 10 cm wide on a yellow or white background

Engine Tiers
What is an Engine Tier?
Non-road diesel engines are grouped into Tiers based on the particulate matter emission rate for the engine at the time of manufacture.
Tier 0 engines are older engines that do not have any emission controls. Tier 1 engines have slightly lower emissions through improved air and fuel delivery systems but do not use emission control systems found on newer Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4 engines.
How do I determine my engine Tier?
Ways to determine your engine Tier:
  • Refer to Schedule 1 and Table 1 in the regulation
  • Use the Tier calculator provided on the website by entering your engine horsepower and engine manufacture year
  • Ask your manufacturer or dealer
  • Check your engine emission labels
The following table provides general guidance on estimating your non-road diesel engine tier level.
*Note that this table is for engines built for North America and the European Union (other markets – see engine manufacturer for more information).
What is an engine emission label?
Engines manufactured to comply with the EPA emissions standards will have an emissions label indicating the year of applicable EPA emissions standards achieved.
Tier 0 engines were manufactured before emissions standards were in place and will not have an emissions label.
What is opacity?
Diesel engine exhaust contains a complex mixture of gases and particles called diesel soot or particulate matter (PM).
Diesel engine exhaust can reduce the passage of light or obscure the view of a background object observed through the exhaust. Opacity is a measurement of the obscuring power of an exhaust stream expressed in percent.
What are the opacity restrictions of the regulation?
As of January 1, 2012
  • Diesel exhaust from non-road diesel engines must not exceed 20% opacity.
  • The opacity restriction applies to all non-road diesel engines 25hp or greater.
What are the idling restrictions of the regulation?
As of January 1, 2012
The regulation restricts idling of all non-road diesels engine to less than five consecutive minutes unless:
  • If required for safe operation of the vehicle or in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • If necessary to serve the purpose of the machine in the course of its operations (crane, cement mixer, cherry picker, boom lift or similar machine)
  • If required for testing or maintenance.
  • If performing emergency work.
  • If as stated in a written anti-idling policy.

Note: An anti-idling policy is only required to be submitted to Metro Vancouver if requested by the District Director.

Why do we need to stop unnecessary idling?
Unnecessary idling:
  • Causes pollution
  • Contributes to global warming
  • Not needed for proper operation of machine
  • Wastes fuel
Fees & Payments
What are my operating period payment options?
Payment can be made by:
  • Visa or Mastercard using the secure online payment system
  • cheque
How much are the fees and what are my operating period options?
There are options to pay for daily, monthly, annual and annual low use operating periods. The operating period fees are based on the engine tier classification and horsepower. A $15 non-refundable administration fee applies to each transaction.
An example of annual fee rates is shown below. A Tier and fee calculator is available on the website to help you estimate your operating period fees.
Annual Fee Rates ($/hp)
Tier 0
Tier 1
Tier 2 or higher
What are the fee break even points for the operating period options?
8 months will cost the same as an annual operating period.
15 days  will cost the same as a monthly operating period.
Use the Tier and fee calculator available on the website to help you estimate your operating period fees.
How do I calculate the cost for the various operating periods?
Fees will be automatically calculated during the online registration process. There is a fee calculator available on the website to assist in estimating your fees prior to registration.
There will be a non-refundable $15 administrative fee for each operating period purchased.
Can I reduce or eliminate fees?
Fees can be reduced or eliminated by reducing diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions. Fees will be reduced proportionate to the reduction of PM emissions and could even be eliminated if Tier 2 emission standards are met. In addition, 80% of fees paid over the previous 3 years will be refunded if an engine is permanently retired from use in Metro Vancouver or is upgraded to Tier 2 emissions standards or better. Please refer to the ERM (emission reduction measures) fact sheet to determine how to reduce diesel soot emissions.
What does Metro Vancouver do with the fees collected for this program?


One of the requirements of the Bylaw is that Tier 0 and Tier 1 (starting January 1, 2014) engines must be registered and pay fees to operate within Metro Vancouver.  A portion of these fees are used to support the diesel regulatory program and the remainder of the fees are being held in reserve to support the incentive program for when registrants retire an engine or upgrade an engine to Tier 2 emission standards.  Specifically, if an engine is retired or upgraded to Tier 2 emission standards (using an approved emission reduction measure), then a refund of 80% of the last 3 years fees is paid back.

How does the quarterly payment option work?

The quarterly payment option allows you to pay for your operating periods in four quarterly cheque payments. Interest of 5.00% per annum will be added to your invoice total when you select this option.

Note that this option is only available if all the operating periods on the invoice meet the following requirements:


  • All operating periods on this invoice must be Annual
  • All operating periods on this invoice must begin on the same date
  • The minimum total amount of the invoice is $5,000.00
Emissions Reduction Measures (ERM)
What is an ERM?
Emissions reduction measures (ERM) are tools used to reduce the amount of harmful diesel soot (particulate matter) from diesel engines. ERMs for non-road diesel engines include:
  • exhaust after-treatment retrofit devices using verified technologies*
    • diesel oxidation catalysts
    • flow-through filters
    • diesel particulate filters
  • re-power
  • re-manufacture
  • biodiesel

Further information regarding ERMs can be found on the ERM fact sheet.
*Verified technologies listed by the US EPA and CARB websites are accepted as approved emissions reduction measures under the Metro Vancouver regulation (US EPA- and CARB

Other products may be considered for approval by the District Director but in the absence of EPA or CARB verification, the onus will be on the registrant to provide sufficient documentation to satisfy the District Director of the emissions reductions associated with these products.

Is biodiesel considered an ERM?
Yes. The US EPA includes biodiesel in the verified technologies list and can be used with Tier 0 engines. The particulate matter reductions associated with biodiesel are proportional to the amounted of biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel fuel. Generally every 1% increase in the blend achieves approximately 0.4% decrease in PM emissions. Biodiesel can be used with exhaust retrofit technology to further reduce  emissions.
Diesel fuel sold in BC already contains 5% renewable content (biodiesel). To qualify for a fee reduction, the biodiesel content used in a non-road diesel engine needs to be greater than 5%.
The biodiesel percentage specified during the operating period selection must be used during the entire operating period. Records of engine use and receipts for fuel purchase must also be kept. Officers may also collect fuel samples to confirm biodiesel use.
Alternative Fuels
Does the regulation apply to engines using alternative diesel fuels?
Alternative diesel-fuels include Fischer-Tropsch (synthetic) fuels, biodiesels, blended fuels, and water emulsified fuels that can be used in a compression ignition (diesel) engine without engine or fuel system modifications. The Non-Road Diesel Engine Emissions Regulation applies to all non-road compression ignition (diesel) engines greater than 25 hp (19kW) regardless of fuel used, except for fee reductions for use of biodiesel.
Engine Retirement
How do I retire an engine?
A registered engine can be retired in 3 ways:
  • by selling the engine for use outside of Metro Vancouver
  • by scrapping the engine
  • by permanently removing it from Metro Vancouver

Proof of engine retirement is required to receive a refund of 80% of the fees paid in the last 3 years leading up to retirement. Full requirements for engine retirement can be found on the Engine Retirement Application Form.

Note that a retired engine is prohibited from any present of future operation within Metro Vancouver.
Engine Retirement

Health Effects
What are the health effects of diesel particulate matter?
Diesel engines emit a complex mixture of air pollutants. The visible emissions are known as particulate matter (PM) and sometimes called diesel soot. The particles are composed of carbon coated with other chemicals found in the exhaust gases including known cancer causing chemicals. When inhaled, the smallest of these particles can become embedded in the lungs or even pass through the lungs directly into the blood stream.
Diesel PM is linked to premature death and a number of heart and lung diseases. Diesel PM emissions are responsible for 67% of the lifetime cancer risk from air pollution in Metro Vancouver. Exposure to diesel PM is a health hazard, particularly to children, the elderly and those working around diesel exhaust. Check out the health facts sheet for more information.
How do I get more information?
Call the Metro Vancouver Information Centre at 604-432-6200 and ask for information regarding Bylaw 1161 or the Non-Road Diesel Engine Emission Regulation.
Fax: 604-436-6707
Mail: Metro Vancouver
4330 Kingsway
Burnaby, B.C.
V5H 4G8
Where is Metro Vancouver?
Metro Vancouver consists of 24 local authorities spanning an area from Lions Bay and Bowen Island to Maple Ridge and the Township of Langley (Aldergrove), and includes the Tsawwassen First Nation.
Click here to view a map of the Metro Vancouver local government boundaries.
How do I file a complaint?
If you have a specific concern about the emissions from a non-road diesel engine or wish to file a complaint, contact Metro Vancouver’s 24-hour Air Quality Complaints and Inquiries Line: 604-436-6777 or fill out an online air quality complaint form at:  
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