WASHINGTON, DC. Saying that “these are definitely not your grandfather’s diesel engines,” Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today watched as officials of six leading diesel engine and truck makers held white handkerchiefs over truck exhaust pipes, revved the engines, then displayed the soot-free cloths to a crowd outside EPA headquarters in Washington, DC.
“On June 1 – just a few weeks away – diesel fuel producers across the country will switch their production to clean Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel,” he said to an audience thinned by a rainstorm. “And by mid-October, this new clean diesel fuel will be widely available at truck stops and retail stations across the country. This switch to clean diesel… will cut the harmful emissions that contribute to soot and smog by up to 95%.”
“Diesel engines are cleaner than ever before,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, which hosted the event. “And in the next few years, the industry will virtually eliminate key emissions once associated with on and off-road diesel equipment.”
Noted Patrick Charbonneau, vp of government relations for International Truck and Engine Corp.: “We believe that the 2007 clean diesel engines, trucks and school buses will help change the way people see diesel.”
Many of the trucks displayed were in service by fleets, having driven thousands of miles during field trials. “This truck was driven over 70,000 miles by a customer,” said Scott Kress, senior vp, sales & marketing, Volvo Trucks North America. “We have tested the new engines over one million miles with no problems.”
Also at the event were representatives and equipment from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Mack Trucks, American Trucking Assns. and the Natural Resources Defense Council. From here, the trucks will travel to nearby RFK Stadium as part of SAE International's Government/Industry Meeting then to Capitol Hill to show lawmakers the new engines.