24 March 2000

US diesel industry announced formation of “Diesel Technology Forum”, a new group that will focus on a range of public issues involving diesel power technology. The group said it would begin discussions with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on ways to reduce emissions from several thousand current diesel engines. This announcement was made at the time the EPA launched its voluntary diesel retrofit program.

The Forum said it would champion environmental stewardship, participate in scientific research and help promote worldwide economic growth by demonstrating advancing diesel technology. Finding ways to lower emissions on existing equipment is an important objective of the Forum. The Diesel Technology Forum will provide a focal point for the diesel industry, the broad diesel user community, civic and public interest leaders, government regulators, academics, scientists, the petroleum refining industry, and public health researchers. The Forum will encourage the exchange of information, ideas, scientific findings, and points-of-view related to current and future use of diesel power technology.

The Forum also said diesels had long been the clear choice of power in a variety of applications, including trucking, railroads, marine shipping, emergency standby power, public safety, public transportation, agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and the public water supply. In recent years the diesel industry has introduced a wide range of technologies that have reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by as much as 70%, and particulate matter (PM) by as much as 90%. The Forum will seek ways to build on these achievements while addressing environmental and health concerns.

Commenting on the formation of the Forum, Glen Barton, Chairman, Caterpillar Inc. noted: “In the current public debate about the future of diesel technology and applications, and in response to questions raised about the appropriate regulatory environment for diesel power, industry's voice and the user community's voices have not always been heard. The issues are too broad for any single company to address, and that is in part why the Forum was created.”

Tim Solso, Chairman and CEO of Cummins Engine Co., Inc., said: “Diesel power makes significant contributions to the nation's economy. Through advancements in technology, diesel power can continue to make these contributions while further reducing emissions. This will benefit us all.”

“While the EPA’s retrofit initiative announced today is aimed at heavy-duty diesel engines, the Forum will also focus on light-duty diesel engines,” said Dennis R. Minano, General Motors vice president and chief environmental officer. “Advanced light-duty diesels equipped with new aftertreatment technologies in combination with cleaner fuels offer significant advantages in terms of lower emissions, greater fuel economy and reduced carbon dioxide. Looking ahead, this represents exciting potential.”

Among the companies participating in the Diesel Technology Forum are: Caterpillar, Cummins, Delco Remy, Detroit Diesel, Donaldson, Eaton, ExxonMobil, General Motors, Honeywell Int’l, JCB, and Komatsu. It is anticipated that more companies will be joining in the near future.

Contact: David Bartlett, Diesel Technology Forum, 703.234.4411.

Source: Diesel Technology Forum