Speeches - By Date
General Electric Tier 2 Locomotive, Erie, Pennsylvania12/23/2002
Talking Points for Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
General Electric Tier 2 Locomotive Announcement
December 23, 2002
Thank you Congressman (Phil) English for that introduction.
It = s great to be here today in Erie to recognize the good work GE is doing for the future of rail transportation and the environment.
Even Santa took time out of his busy schedule to be with us, and I understand he= s coming with me on my test ride later.
However, I hope Santa isn = t getting any ideas about replacing the sleigh.
Even though this has well over 4,000 horsepower, I bet your reindeer could still hold their own.
In all seriousness, we = re here for an important purpose B the launch of the cleanest diesel- powered locomotive ever made B a real technological and environmental accomplishment of which GE should be proud.
As we all know, diesel-powered locomotives are a significant source of NOX emissions, accounting for 5% of those emissions nationwide.
These are the emissions that contribute to acid rain and the formation of ground-level ozone, triggers for respiratory problems, such as asthma and bronchitis.
And, as with other diesel engines, locomotives emit fine particles which can also aggravate respiratory illnesses.
Recognizing the impact of reducing these emissions on the health and quality of our air, the EPA issued emissions regulations for the railroad industry several years ago.
The first phase of these standards took effect for new locomotives built in 2000 and reduced NOX emissions by 30 to 50%.
The next phase of more stringent standards will take effect in 2005. These A Tier 2" standards will result in an overall 60% reduction in NOX emissions and 50% reduction in particulate matter emissions.
No other diesel engines have been required to achieve such large reductions in emissions in such a short period of time B similar reductions for truck emissions took almost 20 years.
The bar was set high for our railroads, and I want to applaud them for how they have risen to meet this challenge.
GE has been a leader in this effort B investing over $100 million and building the first A Tier 2" locomotive two years ahead of schedule.
Not only does this new train meet the strict emissions standards, fuel efficiency has been increased and a special feature has been added so the train can shut down while idling.
This saves fuel and reduces the affects of exhaust on nearby residents.
By getting an early start, GE will have nearly 100 of these locomotives in service by the 2005 deadline, setting a real example for other companies to follow.
Our railroads are an important and efficient means of transportation and with the help of industry leaders, such as GE, it can also become one of the cleanest as well.
Meeting our clean air goals is too great a task for any one entity, and in order to reach those goals EPA depends on a wide range of dedicated partners.
From businesses and local governments to tribal groups and citizens, clean air is something that we all want and something which we have to all work together to achieve.
With efforts such as those we celebrate today, we are making significant strides towards providing cleaner air for this and future generations.