AIR RESOURCES BOARD SETS $600,000 DIESEL CLEAN UP IN RESEARCH PLAN
For immediate release
The State Air Resources Board has unveiled its anti-smog research plans for late 1985 and 1986, highlighted by four major projects, worth $600,000, to study ways ot curbing soot-like pollution from Diesel cars and trucks.
Other priorities of the $4.2 million plan include studies of smog-caused crop loss and human health damage, studies on highly toxic airborne chemicals for which the ARB is consiaering setting stanctaras, and studies to identity ways of reducing emissions from industrial facilities and privately owned automobiles.
"Reducing emissions of soot-like particles from Diesels has been a major priority of the Air Resources Board for the last several years," noted Gordon Duffy, ARB chairman. "The introduction of new anti-soot controls on 1985 diesel passenger cars was a big payoff for standards set by the ARB."
"Those ARB standards dragged new clean-up technology out of the laboratory and onto the street," Dufty said, "and will cut soot-like emissions from passenger cars by 80 percent in the next four years.
"Now we're building on that success to identify ways of cleaning up soot-like emissions from trucks and buses, which produce, by far, the greatest part of the Diesel pollution problem."
Speaking at an Air Resources Board meeting where the research plan was ratified, Duffy noted that the ARB has pushed the Diesel industry as hara as the makers ot gas-powered cars have been pushed to develop new clean-up technologies.
"However," he noted, "Diesels ana gas-powered cars need different types of clean-up technology to solve different types of pollution problems."
"We want pollution problems from both types of vehicles controlled as much as possible, but even when our standards push science to the limit, we don't always get results as quickly as we want them," Duffy said.
The projects in the new research plan are aimed at studying the consequences of widespread use of new soot controls, known as particulate traps, the feasibility or expanding the use of cleaner-burning methanol in trucks and buses, and more research into possible health threats posed by diesel-emitted particles.
The Air Resources Board is already conducting one study and planning another, in conjunction with a major manufacturer of particulate traps, to adapt the new clean-up technology from passenger car use to installation on heavy trucks and buses. There is already considerable understanding about how conventional pollutants are reduced through use of the trap, which separates soot-like emissions from the remainder of the exhaust stream. The ARB research plan, however, will attempt to better understand if widespread use of the trap will produce other environmental benefits, including reducing emissions of known cancer-causing chemicals in diesel exhaust. Other projects will study the environmental benefits of replacing diesel fuel with cleaner-burning methanol and identifying any technical or economic barriers that might prevent wider use of the fuel in truck and bus fleets.
In one study, a motor vehicle manufacturer is expected to provide three methanol-fueled buses which will be run over established routes in Southern California and used for a variety of laboratory testing to compare their emissions to those from diesels.
The research plan approved by the ARB will be put into place over the 1985/86 fiscal year if the Legislature approves the funding during its review of the state budget. These research projects are in addition to a $4 million a year research program concerning California's u11ique ac1d rain
"The Air Resources Board operates one ot the largest air pollution research programs in the country, second only to EPA's" said Duffy. "This plan reflects what the Air Resources Board believes to be the highest priorities of our unique research program; dieseils, toxics, human health and crop damage."