Workshop Scheduled to Discuss $25 Million Heavy-Duty Diesel Engine Replacement Program
SACRAMENTO – In an effort to clean up diesel emissions in the state, the California Environmental Protection Agency's Air Resources Board (ARB) has been named administrator of a $25 million diesel engine replacement program instituted by Gov. Pete Wilson. The one-time budget funding is available for grants over the next two fiscal years and will help accelerate the replacement of large diesel engines with new, low-emission technology engines.
Monies are available for on-road, off-road, marine, locomotive and stationary agricultural engines. Both public and private agencies may apply for grants and participate in the development in funding criteria. The ARB will hold a workshop at its El Monte Laboratory on November 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. so that interested parties may learn more about the program.
The diesel replacement program has the potential to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 60 tons per day from all sources, averaging $8500 per ton. By comparison, stationary source NOx controls average $15,000 per ton.
Cleaner engines are more expensive than traditional diesel engines, but grants offered through the program will help defray that cost and accelerate fleet turnover. Industry trade groups are supportive of such incentive programs because they help reduce their operating costs and assist the state's air districts in meeting State Implementation Plan (SIP) requirements on time.
Diesel engines are getting cleaner with the combined use of cleaner fuels and engines, and in 2004, still cleaner-running engines will be required. Today cleaner diesel-fueled engines are available either through retrofit of older engines or purchase of a new model. It is expected that diesel technology will be dominant choice for complying with the 2004 regulations.
About 525,000 heavy-duty diesel trucks are driven in California, with another 680,000 diesel-fueled engines in use for construction and farming needs. Diesel engines, ranging from trucks to locomotives, off-road equipment to marine vessels, contribute about 60 percent of all nitrogen oxide emissions from mobile sources in the state. NOx is a precursor to ozone, the main ingredient in urban smog.