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May 11, 2016   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Press Release

Clean Diesel: Fueling a Decade of Change

Recognizing the 10-year anniversary of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel this Clean Air Month


Washington, D.C. – Ten years after the introduction of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in 2006, the Diesel Technology Forum recognizes the role of the shift to cleaner diesel fuel and its importance in the major environmental accomplishments being celebrated during National Clean Air Month throughout May.

Clean Air Month is a time to reflect on fulfilling the vision established by the Clean Air Act of 1970. It’s also an important time to take stock of the technologies that have enabled past progress and ones that will take us even closer to that vision in the future,” said Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum

“Along with taking lead out of gasoline, a lesser known but equally important success story of the Clean Air Act was the introduction of new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in 2006.  This cleaner diesel fuel enabled the development of more efficient engines and emissions control technologies on the road today.  Taken together, clean diesel fuel, emissions controls and advanced engine technologies have allowed new diesel engines to achieve near-zero emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter - levels 95 percent lower than in 2000.

“As the prime mover in 15 sectors of the global economy, diesel engines have been driving economic growth and undergone continuous clean air improvements, with cleaner fuel being the foundation of the tremendous progress we have made,” Schaeffer said.

In honor of Clean Air Month, to put this progress from diesel engines in perspective, consider that:

New Diesel Technology Cited for Helping Improve America’s Air Quality

“In its recent State of the Air Report, the American Lung Association noted that the removal of older diesel engines had reduced emissions nationwide and noted that diesel technology exists that can reduce emissions by 90 percent,” Schaeffer said.

“The Clean Air Act established important guideposts and a framework that are still as vital today as they were upon enactment.  Flexibility and certainty in establishment and pursuit of new lower engine emissions levels, along with appropriate phase-in and timeframes for introducing new fuels and technologies have played a key role in achieving these dramatic emissions reductions.

“While new technology accomplishments are impressive, at the same time, innovative programs to modernize and upgrade emissions from existing engines and equipment have allowed us to attack the emissions challenge for older engines as well.  The voluntary incentive-based Diesel Emissions Reduction Program has been successful in delivering more than $13 in health and environmental benefits for every $1 of investment.  And these accomplishments were possible thanks to a cooperative working relationship between EPA, environmental and health organizations, the diesel industry, and local government agencies. 

“While these are significant accomplishments, the challenges of the future expand well beyond achieving near zero emissions. Looking to the future we see diesel engines that have even further improved efficiency and lowered greenhouse gas emissions, while still meeting the needs of the economy and the many different kinds of customers that rely on clean diesel power.  

“We envision further progress on both efficiency and emissions from new technology engines, and find the possibilities enhanced with expanded use of renewable biofuels.  New technology clean diesel engines are expected to play an even greater role in personal transportation choices in cars, trucks and SUVs in the near future as part of vehicle manufacturer’s strategy to achieve new fuel efficiency goals as well as meet more stringent clean air standards by 2025,” Schaeffer said.

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The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.


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