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U.S EPA, Union Pacific, BNSF and SJVAPCD kick off diesel reduction in Central Valley

Release Date: 9/30/2004
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-947-4307

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 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."

Today as part of the Collaborative kickoff in Bakersfield, the EPA awarded $75,000 grant to Union Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to reduce diesel pollution on rail lines in the San Joaquin Valley. This announcement was one of eight made in cities along the West Coast 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.

Collectively today's projects total more than $6 million in funding from federal, state, local, non-profit and industry toward diesel pollution reduction. 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 goals of the collaborative, which include garnering $100 million toward emissions-reduction projects on the West Coast, are admirable," said Supervisor Barbara Patrick. "When fully realized, these goals will play a significant roll in bringing clean air to the residents of the San Joaquin Valley."

Union Pacific and Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company will each contribute $45,000 along with the $75,000 EPA grant to retrofit several switcher locomotives in the San Joaquin Valley. Each company will 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.

"This partnership will allow us to accelerate our efforts to reduce diesel air emissions and to specifically improve air quality for people in the San Joaquin Valley," said Bob Grimailia, Union Pacific's Sr. Assistant Vice President for safety, environment and security.

"The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company is pleased to be a proactive participant with the West Coast Diesel Collaborative," said Mark Stehly, BNSF's Assistant Vice President of environmental, hazmat, research and development. "A cooperative effort between public and private sectors is beneficial for all parties-- we all reap the rewards of improved air quality, and can continue to make progress in diesel emission reductions by the collaborative process."

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.

Events held 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. - Government and industry representatives 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. - 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.

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