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California High-Speed Rail Authority, U.S. EPA Highlight Green Construction Equipment Partnership

Release Date: 11/19/2014
Contact Information: Media Contacts: High-Speed Rail Authority: Annie Parker, (916) 203-2960, annie.Parker@hsr.ca.gov U.S. EPA: Nahal Mogharabi, (213) 244-1815, Mogharabi.Nahal@epa.gov


Engines Meet Nation’s Most Stringent Environmental Standards

FRESNO, Calif. – Today, the California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) joined state and local officials as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to highlight the use of construction equipment – including cranes, crawlers and excavators – that meets the nation’s most stringent environmental standards for diesel engines.

“The Authority is building high-speed rail using modern construction equipment that helps protect air quality and reduce greenhouse gas pollution,” said Jeff Morales, Authority CEO at the Herndon Construction Yard in Fresno. “Through this commitment to sustainable construction, we are building California’s high-speed rail system in an environmentally responsible manner.”

The EPA has adopted a comprehensive national program to reduce emissions from non-road diesel engines by integrating engine and fuel controls. Tier 4 refers to the most stringent EPA engine standards for non-road heavy-duty diesel engines. A Tier 4 designation is achieved via different methods such as clean and efficient exhaust systems, electronically controlled engines, and selective catalytic reductions to significantly reduce the levels of harmful pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). By 2030, the annual benefits throughout the U.S. from using Tier 4 engines are estimated to reduce NOx, PM2.5, and sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 82 percent, 90 percent, and 99.7 percent, respectively.

“The construction of this first-in-the-nation high-speed rail will bring air quality benefits to residents of the San Joaquin Valley,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “And, by using clean diesel engines during the construction phase, emissions of soot and nitrogen oxides are reduced up to 95% compared to older models.”

"Using only the very cleanest construction equipment demonstrates a deep commitment by the High-Speed Rail team to clean air and protecting the public health of those who live in the San Joaquin Valley," said California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.

The high-speed rail Tier 4 equipment is currently being used for demolition, drilling and viaduct work on Construction Package 1, a 29-mile route from Madera to Fresno. The route includes 12 grade separations, two viaducts, one tunnel and a major river crossing over the San Joaquin River. Construction is scheduled to conclude in 2018.

Clean Tier 4 construction equipment highlighted at today’s event included:
    155 foot Terex 1100 Crane, which was used along the Fresno River Bridge during test pile driving in July and will be used in December for additional bore tests;
    334 foot Liebherr LR1160 Crawler Crane, which was also recently used during work along the Fresno River, and will help build overpasses and underpasses and dig viaducts and trenches; and
    Caterpillar Excavator, which will be used along the alignment for demolition and construction, including water, sewer and storm drain relocation.
From Left to Right: Samir Sheikh, Deputy Air Pollution Control Officer, San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District, Kate White, Deputy Secretary for Environmental and Housing, California State Transportation Agency, Jeff Morales, CEO, High-Speed Rail Authority and Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, U.S. EPA Pacific Southwest

High-speed rail is committed to sustainability during construction, including net zero emissions. Contractors will offset 30,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent generated during construction from Madera to Fresno by planting thousands of new trees and embracing cleaner burning construction equipment. The Authority also funded $20 million in agricultural conservation easements and has an agreement with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District to replace irrigation pumps, purchase clean school buses and retrofit truck engines.

For a factsheet on today’s showcased equipment, please visit: http://hsr.ca.gov/docs/newsroom/eblast/Tier_4_factsheet_FINAL_2014.pdf

For more information on Tier 4 non-road diesel engines, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/otaq/nonroad-diesel.htm


About the High-Speed Rail Authority
The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) is responsible for planning, designing, building and operation of the first high-speed rail system in the nation. By 2029, the system will run from San Francisco to the Los Angeles basin in under three hours at speeds capable of over 200 miles per hour. The system will eventually extend to Sacramento and San Diego, totaling 800 miles with up to 24 stations. In addition, the Authority is working with regional partners to implement a statewide rail modernization plan that will invest billions of dollars in local and regional rail lines to meet the state’s 21st century transportation needs. To learn more visit the Authority’s website at www.hsr.ca.gov and join us on facebook.com/CaliforniaHighSpeedRail and follow us at twitter.com/cahsra.

About U.S. EPA
The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region administers and enforces federal environmental laws in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands and 148 tribal nations -- home to more than 48 million people. The San Joaquin Valley is one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions. EPA is working with other agencies and local communities to address the unique environmental challenges in the valley, including some of the nation’s worst air quality, high rates of childhood asthma, and contaminated drinking water.