Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Applauds NYC Department of Sanitation Efforts to Reduce Diesel Pollution; City Efforts Complement EPA National Clean Diesel Program

Release Date: 05/13/2004
Contact Information:
(#04070) New York, N.Y. -- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny today praised the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) for reducing diesel pollution by placing special pollution controls on its trucks and sweepers, using ultra low sulfur fuel and purchasing alternate fuel vehicles for its fleet. New York City Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty gave Ms. Kenny a firsthand look at the cleaner garbage trucks and sweepers today as they toured a Manhattan sanitation garage on South Street in lower Manhattan.

"The Department of Sanitation is leading the way in attacking diesel pollution," said Jane Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. "Every clean truck or sweeper brings us closer to our goal of making that black puff of smoke from dirty diesels a thing of the past."

"The Department of Sanitation truly appreciates the U.S. EPA's recognition of its innovative approach to cleaning up diesel pollution in our large fleet of refuse collection trucks and mechanical street sweepers," said Commissioner Doherty. "This has been a team effort at Sanitation and it is gratifying to know that the real winners are the millions of New Yorkers who depend upon us to deliver a vital municipal service in an environmentally clean manner."

DSNY Commissioner John Doherty, EPA Regional Administrator Jane Kenny and DSNY Assistant Commissioner Rocco DiRico, with a retrofit DSNY collection truck.DSNY is applying state-of-the art technology to its extensive vehicle fleet. The Department uses ultra low sulfur diesel fuel throughout the boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, with plans to expand the program to all Department owned and operated fueling facilities within the current calendar year. The use of this fuel allows the Department to use special pollution control devices on its vehicles. Currently, there are over 150 collection vehicles and nearly 350 street sweepers operating with special pollution control devices citywide. The Department of Sanitation is the first city department to implement the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, well in advance of the mandatory regulatory requirements, scheduled to take effect in June 2006.

These efforts complement EPA's aggressive strategy to control diesel pollution from virtually all sources. The Agency has already adopted tough new standards for diesel truck and bus engines and for clean diesel fuel. On Tuesday, May 11, EPA Administrator Michael O. Leavitt signed a rule that will dramatically cut pollution from construction, agricultural and industrial diesel-powered equipment by more than 90 percent, and will remove 99 percent of the sulfur from the diesel fuel used in this equipment. When the full inventory of older diesel engines used in nonroad equipment has been replaced, EPA's nonroad diesel program will prevent an estimated 12,000 premature deaths, one million lost work days, and 6,000 asthma-related emergency room visits by children each year.

EPA also regulates recreational marine engines and ocean-going vessels. The Agency is considering tougher new standards for locomotives and commercial marine engines, and this week announced an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to gather further information and solicit input from the public on controlling diesel emissions from boats and trains.

Many of DSNY's efforts are being funded through a settlement of the largest Clean Air Act case in history against seven manufacturers of heavy duty diesel engines. This 1998 settlement had a value of about a $1 billion. Some of this money went to DSNY to retrofit hundreds of its heavy-duty trucks; the department continues this work.