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April 2007

EPA proposal cuts diesel locomotive and vessel pollution

EPA is proposing a new rule to significantly reduce 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.

“By tackling the greatest remaining source of diesel emissions, we’re keeping our nation’s clean air progress moving full steam ahead,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson.

When fully implemented, this initiative would cut particulate matter emissions from these 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 Clean Air Locomotive and Marine Diesel 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 proposal dramatically cuts emissions from all types of diesel locomotives, including line-haul, switch, and passenger rail, as well as from a wide range of marine sources, including ferries, tugboats, yachts and marine auxiliary engines. This includes small generator sets to large generators on ocean-going ships.

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.


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