RETROFIT
DIESEL RETROFIT TOOL KIT

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America needs diesel engines and cleaner air; advanced clean diesel technology offers both. Diesel power drives the economy by building our nation's infrastructure of roads and bridges, taking crops from the fields to food on the table, and providing vital transportation of people and goods in the most efficient and cost effective manner possible.

No other technology can match diesel's unique combination of energy efficiency, sheer power, reliability and durability across so many sectors of the economy. In all applications, diesel technology has experienced continuous improvement with increasing performance, lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, making today's technology much cleaner and more efficient than what was available even a few years ago.

The future looks even cleaner. Industry's continued improvements are leading to a new generation of clean diesel vehicles and equipment that will virtually eliminate regulated emissions in both on- and off-road applications. This new clean diesel technology will not only be available in new vehicles and equipment, but can be applied to existing engines, thereby multiplying its benefits. The nation's goals for accelerated improvements in air quality have led regulators to identify the modernizing and upgrading of existing diesel engines as one of the most cost-effective options for achieving emissions reductions.

The modernizing and upgrading of older diesel vehicles through one of retrofit's "five Rs" can help achieve significant, cost effective reduction of criteria pollutants including particulate matter (PM), commonly known as soot, and oxides of nitrogen.

Financial Resources

While the air quality benefits of diesel retrofit are strong, the economic benefits are less clear. Large operators may capture the good will and economic value of good corporate citizenship more readily than small operators that face few direct economic or market pressures related to their environmental performance.

The federal government provides a significant source of funding for diesel retrofit programs through several programs including: the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act¸ and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).  Additionally, many states and localities provide retrofit assistance as well.

Federal Programs

Diesel Emission Reduction Act
In 2005, Congress passed legislation, the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), creating a program to help diesel equipment owners retrofit older equipment.  According to legislation, roughly 70 percent of funds are administered through the U.S. EPA to manage a competitive process for selecting awardees.  The remaining 30 percent of funds are given to the states to administer similar retrofit programs.  Congress appropriated $30 million for fiscal year 2012 for the DERA program.  In November 2012, U.S. EPA announced the current round of awardees.

Please visit the EPA's DERA National Funding Assistance website to learn more about DERA and state funding assistance.

CMAQ Improvement Program
The other primary source of federal funding for retrofits comes through the Federal Highways Administration.  In 1991, as part of surface transportation reauthorization legislation, Congress created the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program to help states with non-attainment areas improve air quality.  The legislation lists a menu of possible policies that states and metropolitan planning agencies may use when applying for CMAQ funds through the Federal highways Administration (FHWA).  Diesel retrofits are included in that list.  The most recent surface transportation reauthorization bill, enacted into law in July 2012, allows states with non-attainment areas for particulate matter to use a portion of their CMAQ funds to retrofit older construction equipment.  The provision does not mandate that states do so.

Please visit the FHWA website to learn more about the CMAQ program.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)
Congress authorized the EQUIP in the 2002 Farm Bill.  The current Farm Bill authorizes funding for the Natural Resources Conservation Service to manage a program to help agricultural equipment owners to retrofit older diesel powered equipment.  Much like the DERA program, EQIP is subject to the annual appropriation process.

Pease visit the Natural Resources Conservation Service website to learn more about the EQIP program.

State Programs

In addition to federal financial assistance programs for diesel retrofits, many states also provide financial assistance to help the owners of diesel equipment purchase retrofit technologies.  Below is a listing of a few of those programs.  If you are an equipment owner seeking financial assistance for retrofit technologies, please contact your state department of environment or air quality.

California - Carl Moyer Program
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) administers funds to help the owners of heavy duty diesel equipment purchase retrofit or newer engines that improve emissions.  Funds are administered through California's various air districts.  Legislation precludes applicants from seeking funds needed to bring non-compliant equipment into compliance with California's air quality regulations for particulate matter, oxides of nitrogen (NOx)and reactive organic gas emissions (ROG).

To learn more about the program please visit the Carl Moyer Program website.

Texas - Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP)
In 2001, the Texas legislature created the TERP to help diesel equipment owners retrofit older equipment.  The program is similar to the Carl Moyer Program except that TERP focuses exclusively on the potential for NOx reduction in choosing recipients.  The program is funded from title fees on the sale of cars and trucks and various state truck tax revenue and is administered by the Texas Council of Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

To learn more about the program, please visit the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan (TERP) website.

New Jersey - Stop the Soot Campaign
On April 11, 2011 New Jersey Governor Christie signed Executive Order #60 creating a pilot project to test the feasibility of mandating the adoption of retrofit equipment deployed on off-road equipment used in a select few public works projects located near large urban centers.   At the conclusion of the project in September 2014, a report will be drafted that may recommend that the mandate be adopted at all state public works projects.  Learn more about the pilot project.

Local Programs

Many localities and public authorities also provide financial assistance to owners of specific types of diesel equipment to purchase retrofit technologies or new equipment.  Below is a listing of a few local programs.

  • City of Chicago Clean Diesel Contracting Ordinance: In March 2011, the City of Chicago passed a city ordinance requiring all contractors on city projects to receive a "Green Fleet Score" designed to reduce emissions.  In order to receive an adequate score, contractors must commit to use emission control devices and adopt certain business practices including a prohibition on idling of equipment.
  • The City of New York: Passed Local Law 77 requiring that all contractors at the Twin Towers project deploy emissions control devices that meet certain minimum emissions standards.  In an effort to help contractors and city air regulators comply and enforce the law, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) developed the Clean Diesel Clearing House.  The web tool allows contractors to learn how specific pieces of construction equipment may be deployed with emission control devices.  The tool also helps regulators enforce compliance with the law.  NYSERDA is tweaking the tool for other use by other jurisdictions.  

Many large seaports around the country adopted requirements prohibiting older diesel powered trucks from entering maritime facilities.  Port authorities provide resources in order to help truck owners purchase newer trucks or retrofit equipment.  Below is a digest of requirements:

  • Los Angeles/Long Beach, California: All trucks entering marine terminals must be deployed with a 2007 model year engine or newer.  Both ports generated a $44 million fund to help equipment owners purchase compliant equipment.  Additionally, equipment owners looking to purchase equipment operating on alternative fuels may be eligible for funding through the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Funding Program.
  • Oakland, California: The port prohibits trucks entering facilities with engine model year 1993 or older.  The port established a trucker resource center to help equipment owners identify financial resources to offset the cost of purchasing new equipment.  Additionally, equipment owners purchasing alternative fueled trucks may also eligible for funding through the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Funding Program.
  • Seattle and Tacoma, Washington: All trucks entering marine terminals must be deployed with a 1994 model year engine or newer.  The seaports established a trucker resource center to match equipment owners with possible grants and low or no interest loans for the purchase of a compliant truck.
  • Port of Seattle: Encourages equipment owners to contact their truck liaison to identify appropriate financial resources
  • Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: The Port Authority prohibits trucks with engine model year 1993 or older from entering marine terminals.  The Port Authority also established a grant program to help equipment owner finance the purchase of equipment with 2004 model year engines or newer. Eligible applicants will receive a grant that covers up to 25 percent of the purchase price of a newer truck. They may also qualify for low-interest financing on the remaining 75 percent.
  • Port of Houston, Texas: The Houston - Galveston Area Council announced that drayage truck owners operating in marine terminals in the area may be eligible for loans administered through the Texas Emissions Reduction Program (TERP).  Unlike other seaports, the plan does not prohibit older trucks from entering marine terminals.


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Ever wonder how much you could save by switching to a fuel-efficient clean diesel vehicle? Planning a vacation or a road trip?. Visit AAA's Fuel Price Finder for fuel prices in your local area. Official fuel economy information is available at fueleconomy.gov

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