Friday, March 02, 2007

EPA Proposed Locomotive & Marine Diesel Engine Rule

Mar 2: U.S. EPA is proposing a new rule which it says will ensure that Americans continue to breathe cleaner air by significantly reducing air pollution from locomotive and marine diesel engines. The Clean Air Locomotive and Marine Diesel Rule would set stringent emission standards and require the use of advanced technology to reduce emissions. EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson said, “By tackling the greatest remaining source of diesel emissions, we’re keeping our nation’s clean air progress moving full steam ahead. Over the last century, diesels have been America’s economic workhorse, and through this rule, an economic workhorse is also becoming an environmental workhorse.”

Environmental Defense President Fred Krupp joined Administrator Johnson at the announcement which took place at Port Elizabeth, New Jersey, Berth 23, Elizabeth Marine Terminal. The emission standards would apply to the nation’s fleet of diesel locomotive engines, tugs, barges, ferries and recreational marine engines. Diesel exhaust contains toxic chemicals that together with diesel particulate matter pose a cancer risk greater than that of any other air pollutant. The proposed standards, when adopted and fully phased in, would reduce particulate pollution and smog-forming oxides of nitrogen from each engine by 90 percent. Krupp said, “EPA is clearly on the right track in proposing to address the dangerous diesel exhaust from trains and ships. We look forward to working with EPA and the states to carry this important work across the finish line by securing final clean air standards for high-polluting trains and ships.”

When fully implemented, the landmark initiative would cut particulate matter emissions from the engines by 90 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 80 percent. This would result in annual health benefits of $12 billion in 2030 and reduce premature deaths, hospitalizations and respiratory illnesses across the United States. These benefits would continue to grow as older locomotive and marine engines are replaced. Overall benefits are estimated to outweigh costs by more than 20 to 1. The rule would tighten emission standards for existing locomotives when they are remanufactured. Additionally, the rule sets stringent emission standards for new locomotive and marine diesel engines and sets long-term regulations that require the use of advanced technology to reduce emissions.

The locomotive remanufacturing proposal would take effect as soon as certified systems are available, as early as 2008, but no later than 2010. Standards for new locomotive and marine diesel engines would phase-in starting in 2009. Long-term standards would phase-in beginning in 2014 for marine diesel engines and 2015 for locomotives. The rule also explores a remanufacturing program for existing large marine diesel engines similar to the existing program for locomotives. Other provisions seek to reduce unnecessary locomotive idling.

Access a release from EPA (
click here). Access links to a fact sheet, the prepublication copy of the proposed rule, regulatory impact analysis and related details (click here). Access EPA's Diesel Boats and Ships website (click here). Access EPA's Locomotives website (click here). Access a release from Environmental Defense (click here) [*Air]