July 30, 2020 (WASHINGTON, DC) – According to a presentation made today before the New Jersey Clean Air Council by the Diesel Technology Forum, diesel engines play a primary role powering key sectors of the New Jersey economy and essential public services, with the newest generation of diesel delivering substantial clean air and greenhouse gas emissions reduction benefits. Marine vessels serving New Jersey’s ports and commuter stations in particular present a unique opportunity for major steps forward in emissions reduction immediately.
“Today we made a strong case to the Council about the near-zero emissions state of diesel technology, the role it plays in key sectors of the Garden State’s economy today, and why and how diesel will be a key technology for helping New Jersey achieve future goals. In particular, we focused on the opportunity before the state to make immediate progress on reducing oxides of nitrogen emissions and moving closer to clean air compliance through efforts to modernize and upgrade older marine engines and vessels,” said Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), a not-for-profit association representing manufacturers of diesel engines and equipment, key suppliers of emissions control and other technologies and fuel producers.
“Marine work boats play a vital role in commerce, positioning and moving container ships, barges and other vessels with bulk cargo, as do the 53 ferry boats that serve commuters to New York and Delaware. According to the U.S. EPA Port Strategy Assessment, nationally, harbor crafts contribute approximately 27 percent of all particulate matter and 47 percent of all emissions of nitrogen oxides in port communities.
“Through joint research of the Diesel Technology Forum and Environmental Defense Fund, we learned that vessels operating in the New York and New Jersey ports are older than previous EPA models predicted, which, while a testament of the durability of the diesel engine, underscores the significant opportunity to gain major emissions reductions by modernizing and upgrading these older engines with the newest generation of diesel power that is near zero emissions.
“Upgrading a single older engine in a typical tugboat to the newest and fourth generation of advanced diesel technology can reduce NOx emissions by 30 tons a year, equivalent to removing over 26,000 cars from the roads for a single year. The opportunity for the success of these projects is limited only by the resources and will to get it done.
“When completed, these repowers deliver dramatic reductions in nitrogen oxide emissions to surrounding communities immediately for as little as $5,000 per ton of NOx removed. Compared to the State’s other investments in alternative fuel infrastructure for example, the clean diesel option gets more clean air for the dollar, and it gets that clean air benefit now, not decades from now.”
DTF also provided comments on other aspects of the State’s clean air and energy policies:
- DTF urged reconsideration of the State’s “cap and invest” strategy embodied in the regional Transportation Climate Initiative that presently excludes consideration of all non-electric alternatives. Electrification of some aspects of the transportation system are envisioned, but could be decades away from fruition. On the other hand, diesel engines using low-carbon renewable biodiesel fuels can deliver substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, up to 80 percent compared to conventional fuels, across the entire fleet of existing vehicles and fueling infrastructure. The opportunity to make meaningful reductions in carbon emissions from diesel-powered transportation sources of all kinds would be constrained by the current approach and DTF encouraged a more fuel and technology-neutral approach.
- DTF also identified the Port of New York and New Jersey’s truck replacement program as a success in aiding truck owners to invest in newer technology vehicles with lower emissions, that has accelerated clean air progress in the port and surrounding communities.
- DTF also expressed strong support for the State’s efforts to step up enforcement against tampering with emissions controls on diesel engines. It is important that we work together to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring emissions integrity and educate truck and vehicle owners about proper maintenance.
In the presentation, DTF also outlined how diesel engines are evolving to meet the mutual challenges of the future: cleaner air and lower greenhouse gas emissions. These include diesel engines on a path to even nearer-to-zero emissions performance, further gains in energy efficiency and reducing fuel consumption, expanded use of renewable biodiesel fuels, and vehicle and machine hybridization and use of electrified components.
“The Clean Air Council plays an important advisory role for New Jersey government not only in implementing its many regulatory programs, but also as a check and balance for the best approaches in meeting near-term and long-term goals, and while balancing competing objectives such as economic growth and environmental policy. We appreciate the opportunity to share these insights today,” said Schaeffer.
From New Jersey Transit’s recent investment in new generation clean diesel power buses, to truck replacement programs at the ports, diesel engines today are a central part of the state’s economy and will be well into the future.
Members of the Diesel Technology Forum are the leaders in advanced technology engines, components vehicles, fuels, and equipment, both diesel and a range of alternative fuels, including electrification, hydrogen, natural gas, and others.
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About the Diesel Technology Forum
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2020, the Diesel Technology Forum is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel, and technology. Forum members are leaders in advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel and renewable biofuels and emissions-control systems. For more information visit https://www.dieselforum.org/.
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