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U.S EPA, California, Oregon, Washington join to announce comprehensive West Coast diesel initiative

Release Date: 9/30/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-947-4307/cell: 415-760-5421 or Leo Kay, 415-947-4306/cell: 415-760-5420

$6 million diesel emission reduction effort announced in eight cities from San Diego to Seattle

SAN FRANCISCO Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined with a consortium of federal, state and local government agencies, non-profits and industry to kick off an unprecedented $6 million effort to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, ships, locomotives and other diesel sources along the West Coast.

Organized as the West Coast Diesel Emissions Reductions Collaborative, more than 400 interests are working together to find voluntary solutions, incentives and shared approaches to reducing diesel pollution in California, Oregon, Washington and Alaska sooner than federally mandated deadlines. Interests from British Columbia and Mexico have also joined this effort.

"The collaborative projects announced today will provide immediate health benefits for residents of the West Coast, especially for our children," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Replacing old diesel engines with newer, cleaner models -- as well as providing cleaner fuel will quicken the pace toward the new EPA standards, providing a healthier, cleaner environment for everyone."

"The Carl Moyer Program has proven to be one of the most effective programs available to immediately reduce air pollution from diesel engines," said Terry Tamminen, Secretary of CalEPA. "Governor Schwarzenegger has used his leadership by providing a permanent funding source of the first time ever for this program. This action is an aggressive step toward our goal of greatly reducing air pollution in California and the efforts of the West Coast Collaborative are what is needed to make a difference regionally."

Eight announcements were made today in San Diego, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Sacramento, San Francisco, Eugene Ore., Portland and Seattle, all aimed at getting voluntary diesel reductions sooner than the deadlines set by the EPA's stringent new diesel standards that begin to take effect in 2008.

Funding for today's eight announcements comes from federal, state, local, non-profit and industries all directed toward diesel pollution reduction projects along the West Coast. The collaborative's goal is to ultimately secure $100 million through this public/private partnership to address and solve the diesel pollution problems in the west.

The West Coast has numerous diesel sources from trucks traveling along the I-5 and I-99 corridors, to ships and trains along the Pacific coast, to agriculture equipment in California's Central Valley, to construction equipment operating in some of the fastest growing cities in the country, such as Los Angeles, Fresno, Seattle and Portland.

Eight events today announcing diesel pollution reduction projects along the West Coast include:

Bakersfield, Calif.- The EPA and San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District announced a $75,000 grant that will allow Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad to retrofit several switcher locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley. Each company will contribute $45,000 to install locomotive microprocessor technology that switches engines off when they are not needed to reduce nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and diesel particulate emissions. The project will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions approximately 2.5 tons annually.

Sacramento, Calif. - The Sacramento Municipal Utility District, the Electric Power Research Institute, the EPA, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, the California Energy Commission, the Department of Energy and others have combined a total of $532,000 to install battery and grid powered electric air conditioners into trucks and also to install needed infrastructure at truck , which enables truck operators to use electrical energy for needed in-truck appliances, instead of idling during rest periods. The EPA is funding half of the idle reduction equipment, and the other half is being funded by the trucking fleet. The fleets agreed to reinvest the annual cost savings resulting from the first year of operation of the equipment, estimated at $2,500 per truck. By year's end, the system will be in operation on at least 46 trucks.

San Francisco, Calif. - The San Francisco Bay Area Water Transit Authority is working with the Blue and Gold Fleet and Lubrizol Corporation to evaluate the emissions reduction potential of PuriNOx Technology, a low emissions fuel additive that can reduce nitrogen oxides emissions by up to 30 percent and particulate matter emissions up to 65 percent. In addition, Lubrizol Corporation is providing $12,000 for emissions testing and fuel filter replacements.

San Diego, Calif. - The EPA has awarded the San Diego County Air Pollution Control District $150,000 for a diesel emissions reduction demonstration project. The project will investigate the costs and effectiveness of diesel retrofit technologies on heavy-duty diesel vehicles that operate in the San Diego-Tijuana region.

Los Angeles, Calif. - EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership has awarded the South Coast Air Quality Management District a $100,000 grant to help establish an Interstate 5 Truck Idle Reduction Project. The South Coast Air District will match the EPA's funds to install truck stop electrification to establish an idle-free I-5 corridor.

Seattle, Wash. - Princess Cruises will announce a proposed $1.8 million dollar shore power project. By hooking two cruise ships, the Diamond Princess and the Sapphire Princess, up to the Seattle electric grid, this project will reduce air emissions to zero for one third of the cruise ship traffic "hotelling" ; in the Port of Seattle. Other projects of note include $100,000 for truck stop electrification in Washington state, another anti-idiling thrust of the Collaborative.

Portland, Ore. - In Portland, the state of Oregon and Climate Trust, part of the Oregon Clean Diesel Initiative and the collaborative, announced $200,000 in funding through the EPA's Smartway Transport Partnership for the I-5 Reduced Idling Truck Stop Project. The funding enabled Climate Trust and the state to invest $6 million for idle reduction infrastructure for 500 commercial truck stops along Oregon's I-5 corridor.

Eugene, Ore. - The Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority announced the investment of $860,000 in the "Everybody Wins" project that will reduce diesel emissions from idling long-haul trucks. The project provides infrastructure to purchase, install and maintain small auxiliary engines that use up to 90 percent less diesel and emit 75 percent less air pollution than idling trucks.

West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative background

The West Coast Diesel Emission Reduction Collaborative builds on diesel emissions reductions targets in the EPA's on-road and non-road rules, and the success of EPA's Clean School Bus USA Initiative, California's Carl Moyer Clean Engine Incentive Program, Washington's Diesel Solutions Program, Oregon's Business Energy Tax Credit Program and other voluntary emissions reductions programs. Many diesel emission reduction technologies can reduce emissions of fine particles and other pollution by over 90 percent.

The EPA's new national diesel regulations dramatically reduce emissions from trucks, trains, construction and agricultural equipment, large-scale diesel generators, and marine vessels. When fully implemented these new rules will reduce diesel emissions up to 99 percent. However, unlike other areas of the country, along the West Coast diesel emissions are the primary air pollutants of concern for regulators and health professionals.

The West Coast's numerous diesel sources buses, semi-trucks, ships and boats, locomotives, agricultural equipment, construction equipment and generators expose West Coast residents to extremely unhealthy air. Diesel emissions make up some 90 percent of the cancer risk citizens face from air toxins, and also contribute to unhealthy levels of fine particles and ozone, or smog. Fine particles have been associated with an increased risk of premature mortality, hospital admissions for heart and lung disease, increased respiratory symptoms and other adverse effects. Long-term exposure to diesel exhaust may pose a lung cancer hazard to humans at ambient concentrations.

The collaborative is working to reduce emissions in five diesel industry sectors including, trucking, marine vessels and ports, locomotives and rail, construction and agriculture.