The New York City Council has passed legislation that will require sweeping emissions-related retrofits on virtually all diesel-powered city school buses, sanitation department vehicles, and city motor vehicles weighing 8,500 lbs. or more. New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is expected to sign the legislation into law.
The bills will affect the 8,800 heavy-duty diesel buses and trucks owned by the city, The New York Times reported.
All diesel-powered vehicles that perform solid waste and recyclable material operations primarily within the city will be required to be equipped with emissions-related retrofits, or powered by engines that comply with EPA 2007 emission standards by March 1, 2006. The vehicles already run on ultra-low sulfur (ULSD) fuel.
Another bill mandates that all diesel-powered vehicles owned or operated by a city agency use ULSD, with vehicles weighing over 8,500 lbs. not equipped with EPA 2007-compliant engines qualifying for mandatory retrofits.
The phase-in process low-emissions vehicles begins with 7% of the fleet by 2007, 14% by 2008 and will incrementally ratchet up to 100% by July 2012.
Beginning July 1, 2006 any diesel-powered school bus contracted by the city will be required to use ULSD. On Sept. 1, 2006, 50% of active school buses will be retrofitted, with 100% slated for Sept. 2007.
A separate bill would require sight-seeing buses equipped with diesel engines over three years old to undergo a retrofit.
“If enacted, the bills before City Council would represent the most comprehensive commitment New York City has ever made to bring clean car and truck technology to our streets,” said Andy Darrell, Living Cities program director at Environmental Defense.