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April 11, 2018   |

Press Release

Clean Diesel Technologies are Florida's Fastest Way to Clean Air

With Large Engine Clean Diesel Upgrades, Florida's $166.3 Million from the Volkswagen Settlement can Impact the Most Floridians

April 10, 2018 (TALLAHASSEE) – Right now, Florida is evaluating options for $166.3 million coming to the state through the Volkswagen (VW) Environmental Mitigation Trust. The purpose of this Trust is to reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) as a mitigation measure against the excess emissions from the almost 600,000 VW vehicles found to have been deployed with technology that sidesteps NOx emission controls. To recieve funds, applicants must answer how a given project reduces NOx emissions.

According to the latest NOx emissions inventory, the largest sources of NOx in Florida are engines that power heavy-duty vehicles and equipment. A strategy that replaces or upgrades these large engines is one that offers Florida the greatest opportunity for NOx mitigation. 

“Clean diesel upgrades for Florida’s trucks, tugboats and switcher locomotives will immediately deliver astounding clean air benefits to communities all across the state," said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. "Combining these largest sources of NOx with technology that is available now, like clean diesel, offers a far greater impact for NOx reduction than other, more aspirational options. It is in replacing the oldest of these technologies with the newest clean diesel option where Floridians will be able to see the most cost-effective, immediate gains of clean air for the available VW settlement dollars.” 

According to new analaysis by the Environmental Defense Fund and the Diesel Technology Forum, if all of Florida’s $166.3 million were invested in a single technology, you could:

 - Upgrade 119 of the oldest tugboats in Florida’s ports and waterways, removing nearly 3.5 MILLION pounds of NOX;
 - Update the engines on the oldest 64 switcher locomotives in the state, eliminating more than 1 MILLION pounds of NOx; or
 - Purchase 189 battery electric buses, reducing only about 200,000 pounds of NOx.

"It’s simple math, and it’s pretty clear: For this particular settlement and these investment dollars, greater NOx reduction benefits can be gained for more Floridians through investments in large clean diesel engines," said Schaeffer. "While electrification may sound good on some levels, it fails to deliver anywhere near the NOx reductions of other approaches. This is where most seem to look the other way; they are in favor of installing a few charging stations and adding a few electric buses, instead of looking where the state can deliver real, immediate clean air benefits for the most Floridians."

"The real question to answer for Florida is this: to reduce 1 ton of NOx, would you choose to: invest $176,000 in a new Class 8 clean diesel port truck; spend $214,000 for a compressed natural gas port truck; or hold $330,000 until the proper type of battery electric truck is developed,” said Schaeffer. “It's quite clear that the clean diesel option will yield faster reductions in NOx emissions at a lower cost.”

Through May 11, Florida's Department of Environmental Protection is seeking public comment on how to spend the state's $166.3 million. Comments may be submitted at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4147366/Diesel-Emissions-Mitigation-Program-Public-Survey

The Forum's formal comments to Governor Scott and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection may be found here. Visit https://www.dieselforum.org/vwfund for more information about best options for Volkswagen settlement funds in Florida and other states.

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About The Diesel Technology Forum

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit 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.


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