Release 98-37
June 16, 1998
CONTACT: Cal/EPA - Joe Irvin
(916) 322-2990
NJ/DEP - Peter Page
(609) 292-3225
ETV Canada - John McMullen
(613) 247-1900, x228
Ballard Generation Systems -
Scott Weiner
(609) 951-2241
Ballard Power Systems -
Debby Roman
(604) 412-4740


Sacramento - Under a ground breaking three-way agreement, Canada, California and New Jersey environmental agencies will join forces to evaluate the performance of environmental technologies, a practice that is expected to accelerate the development and deployment cycle. On Tuesday, June 16, 1998, the agencies announced that the first candidate for this joint evaluation will be a 250-kilowatt PEM natural gas fuel cell power plant manufactured by Ballard Generation Systems, Inc., of Canada and New Jersey. Ballard Generation Systems is a subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems of Canada.

Each agency has established environmental technology certification and verification programs to advance development and use of cutting-edge manufacturing systems or products which demonstrate environmental benefits or reduce risk. On Monday, June 15, 1998, Canada and California signed a Memorandum of Understanding to mutually recognize their respective environmental technology certification and verification programs.

The agreement will bring the technical acumen of three agencies together to review an energy system with potential to supply cleaner power for the 21st Century.

"In this strategic alliance, it's safe to say that 'three heads are better than one' in this effort to rapidly advance the marketing and use of new environmental technologies," said John D. Dunlap, Chairman of the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board. "The spirit of collaboration among these environmental agencies will retain our high environmental standards while providing new tools for developing a means to evaluate this new source of energy, and other environmental technologies."

"We are pleased to be the first applicant of this unique public-private alliance which we believe will accelerate the path to availability and early commercial acceptance of emerging clean technologies," said Scott A. Weiner, President of Ballard Generation Systems.

"I'm delighted that we have an opportunity to build upon the pioneering initiatives of California, New Jersey, and Canada," said John McMullen, President and CEO of ETV Canada. "We expect to see the efforts of this alliance provide a framework for international cooperation which will lead to greater availability of clean environmental technologies in the world marketplace."

"We have arrived at a point in history where we no longer accept pollution as the byproduct of progress," said Robert C. Shinn, Commissioner of New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection. "This agreement removes needless barriers to promising technologies that can succeed in the market while helping solve environmental problems."

In 1994, California inaugurated a technology certification program. Later that year, California and New Jersey signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share technology evaluation information, and in 1996 California and Canada signed an agreement to coordinate environmental technology certification programs. Similarly, in March 1998, Canada and New Jersey signed a memorandum regarding collaboration of evaluating environmental technologies.

The environmental technology certification and verification on programs that California, Canada, and New Jersey have established address barriers to marketplace success by providing an internationally-recognized, independent third-party technical evaluation of technology performance. Joint certification and verification gives greater credibility to products, processes, and equipment that might otherwise struggle to attract capital investment or gain market acceptance; and it streamlines the permitting process for certified technologies by reducing or eliminating redundant testing and inconsistent technical criteria from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Representatives of the alliance will meet this Thursday with Ballard to begin developing a scope of work on the project.

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.