Established by the Clinton Administration last year, a voluntary retrofit program for diesel engine catalytic filters is continuing unaltered by the Bush Administration, according to an official at the Environmental Protection Agency. Speaking at The Oregon Clean Diesel Conference in Portland this week, the official said EPA already has commitments to retrofit 50,000 trucks and buses with the particulate control systems.
Gay MacGregor, EPA senior policy advisor for the Ann Arbor office of transportation and air quality, said that the current administration is actually extending diesel emissions control efforts with anti-idling initiatives that call for greater use of auxiliary power units and electrification of truck stops.
A pilot program by the New York City Transit Authority has cut particulate emissions by 90% by combining catalytic filters and low-sulfur diesel fuel, according to Dana Lowell, asst. chief of maintenance.
While low-sulfur fuel costs about $0.12 more per gallon and can be difficult to obtain, New York has already switched it’s entire bus fleet to the cleaner diesel and will retrofit all of its buses with catalytic filters by 2003, he told the conference. Currently, 500 diesel buses have been retrofitted with they systems, which cost approximately $5,000 each and are expected to last up to eight years.
More information on EPA’s diesel retrofit program is available at www.epa.gov/otaq/retrofit.