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Atlanta – Newer and cleaner diesel technology in trucks, construction and agricultural equipment will play a major role in helping Southeast states meet future air quality and energy issues, according to the Diesel Technology Forum.
Ezra Finkin, the Director of Policy for the Diesel Technology Forum (http://www.dieselforum.org/), made his comments today at the 9th Annual Southeast Diesel Collaborative Partners Meeting during a panel discussion with Kelly Sheckler of EPA Region 4 and Faye Swift of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality.
The Southeast Diesel Collaborative (http://www.southeastdiesel.org/) is a voluntary, public-private partnership involving leaders from federal, state and local government, the private sector and other stakeholders throughout the southeast working to reduce diesel emissions. The Southeast Diesel Collaborative represents Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee and is part of the EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign - (http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/)
New Clean Diesel Technology Has Achieved Near Zero Emission Engines
Finkin said the advanced clean diesel technology has achieved near zero emissions in heavy duty trucks, buses and cars and that 2014 marked the new Tier 4 Final standards that have reduced emissions from off-road construction and agricultural equipment by more than 90 percent.
“In the past 15 years we have made great strides in improving the efficiency and environmental performance in all sectors of diesel technology,” Finkin said. “And organizations like the Southeast Diesel Collaborative have played a major role in working to modernize and upgrade older diesel engines to significantly reduce their emissions.
“In each of the eight states covered by the Southeast Collaborative, schools, local governments, fleets, ports and communities have benefited from the diesel modernization and replacement projects supported by the Collaborative and EPA.
“We’re extremely proud of the major successes we’ve achieved with the new diesel technology and we’re extremely supportive of the hard work being done by the Collaborative to apply new technology to the older diesel equipment.”
Southeast, U.S. Seeing Higher Percentage of New Clean Diesel Trucks
Finkin also said new truck registration compiled for the Forum showed that more than one-third of all heavy duty trucks registered in the U.S. now have model year 2007 or newer clean diesel technology which has near zero emissions.
“Like everywhere else in the country, every year more and more of the heavy duty trucks in the Southeast have the cleanest and most advanced diesel engines and fuel in the world,” Finkin said.
DERA Has Played Important Role in Modernizing Older Diesel Equipment
Finkin also encouraged Collaborative members to work for the reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) as it expires in 2016. He outlined a number of proposals being considered for future diesel retrofit programs but said the most successful option would be to reauthorize DERA.
“DERA is one of the more powerful programs funding the replacement, repower or retrofit of the older vehicles,” Finkin said. “According to EPA, the eight states in the Southeast Collaborative have received about $29 million in three rounds of funding between 2008 and 2010, or roughly 10 percent of all funding available. That’s pretty impressive but clearly more can be done.”
In 2005, Congress authorized funding for DERA as a grant program to retrofit or replace select older diesel engines to reduce particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administers all DERA funding under the umbrella of the National Clean Diesel Campaign, which promotes clean air strategies by working with manufacturers, fleet operators, air quality professionals, environmental and community organizations, and state and local officials to reduce diesel emissions.
“Over a decade ago the diesel industry began to transform its technology to meet near zero emissions levels,” Finkin said. “Meeting these emissions challenges has delivered major environmental benefits to air quality and public health and will continue to improve as more of the new generation technology replaces the old.”
ABOUT THE DIESEL TECHNOLOGY FORUM
The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit national organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology, and working with policymakers and other stakeholders on common solutions. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology. For more information visit www.dieselforum.org.
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