22 March 2000

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today a new Voluntary Diesel Retrofit Program. The announcement was made at a Diesel Emissions Control Retrofit Workshop hosted by Corning Incorporated held in Washington, DC.

EPA hopes to work with other federal agencies, state governments, environmental groups and industries to encourage retrofitting of older diesel engines. Under the program, states can receive emission credits in their State Implementation Plans (SIP) for retrofitting existing heavy-duty diesel engines with emission control devices. The rules for calculating of these credits have been outlined in a NESCAUM report which was approved by the EPA in 1999. The NESCAUM/EPA guidelines are available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/oms/transp/vmweb/vmhvydty.htm.

The EPA is looking for commitments from state and local governments, fleet operators, and industry to use available technology and other methods to reduce pollution from existing diesel engines. The program adopts a wide definition of a retrofit which includes the following:

  • retrofitting engines with a catalytic converter or a diesel particulate filter,
  • engine upgrade,
  • engine replacement,
  • use of clean fuels and/or fuel additives,
  • a combination of the above.

The agency is looking for a commitment from states to retrofit 10,000 diesel engines within the first year of the program. It is expected that most of the initial retrofits will take place in Houston, New York, New Orlean, Seattle, and Atlanta. Ultimately, the program can embrace hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles in many states.

An important part of the program is a third party technology verification system, administered by NESCAUM. A panel of independent experts, engine and emission control manufacturers, and emission test laboratories will determine the emission reduction benefits and the applicability of various retrofit devices and technologies to particular diesel engines and engine families. Only verified technologies will be eligible for the SIP credits. A list of verified technologies will be posted on a special EPA web site which is expected to be online within about one month.

Contact:
Matthew Payne, EPA, 734-214-4576, payne.matthew@epa.gov
Coralie Cooper, NESCAUM, 617-367-8540, ccooper@nescaum.org

Source: US EPA