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Clean Diesel Benefits Texas
Release Date: 5/11/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.
The Bush Administration's Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule, announced today by EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt in Washington, DC, will cut emission levels from construction, agricultural and industrial diesel engines by more than 90 percent.
"These new clean air developments are certain to help many of our communities achieve cleaner air," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said. "Our scientists expect the health benefits to exceed those resulting from removing lead in gasoline and installing catalytic converters on cars more than 10 years ago."
The new rule will also remove 99 percent of the sulfur in diesel fuel, resulting in dramatic reductions in soot from all diesel engines. Today, diesel fuel contains about 3,000 parts per million (ppm) sulfur. Under the new rule, levels will be lowered to 500 ppm in 2007 and 15 ppm by 2010.
When the full inventory of older nonroad engines has been replaced, the nonroad diesel program will annually prevent as many as 1000 premature deaths in Texas. Nationwide, the rules will prevent as many as 12,000 premature deaths, one million lost work days, 15,000 heart attacks and 6,000 children's asthma-related emergency room visits. The overall benefits of the nonroad diesel program are estimated to outweigh the costs by a ratio of 40 to one.
"Texas has been a national leader in reducing air pollution from diesel engines. The Texas Emissions Reduction Program, authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2001, is providing financial assistance for retrofitting high emitting heavy duty diesel equipment or for purchasing new, cleaner diesel equipment. Community after community has also adopted voluntary clean diesel programs, such as the Clean School Bus and Voluntary Diesel Retrofit programs, leading the way for other cities," Greene said.
The new rules will reduce three key components of air pollution: fine particulates, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide. In Texas, the rules will annually reduce fine particulates by 10,065 tons, nitrogen oxides by 52,312 tons, and sulfur dioxide by 38,534 tons when fully implemented.
Last month, EPA announced its determination of the air quality in communities across the nation. In Texas, EPA determined most communities, except Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Beaumont-Port Arthur, and San Antonio areas, meet the stricter national standard for ozone. Ozone is created by chemical reactions between nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds in the presence of sunlight.
The clean diesel rules are part of the suite of federal clean air actions needed to help states and communities improve air quality. The Clean Air Rules of 2004 provide national tools to achieve significant improvement in air quality and the associated benefits of improved health, longevity and quality of life for all Americans.
More information on EPA's clean diesel programs, including the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule, is available at: https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel. Information about the Clean Air Rules of 2004 is available at: https://www.epa.gov/cleanair2004/.