New Air Standards to Halt Locomotive, Marine Emissions

New tough emissions standards will slash pollution from locomotive and marine diesel engines by up to 90 percent, helping Americans to breathe cleaner air as soon as this year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on March 14.

"EPA is fitting another important piece into the clean diesel puzzle by cleaning emissions from our trains and boats," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "As more and more goods flow through our ports and railways, EPA is cutting diesel emissions at their source – keeping our nation on track toward a clean, healthy, productive tomorrow."

When fully implemented, these new standards will reduce soot or particulate matter (PM) by 90 percent or 27,000 tons and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by 80 percent or nearly 800,000 tons. The estimated annual health benefits are valued between $8.4 billion and $12 billion. When these older locomotive and marine engines reach the end of their useful life, and new engines enter into the nation's diesel fleet, the benefits of today's action will increase.

The Clean Diesel Locomotive and Marine program cuts emissions from all types of diesel locomotives, including line-haul, switch, and passenger rail, as well as from a wide range of marine sources, including ferries, tugboats, Great Lake freighters and all types of marine auxiliary engines.

For the first time ever, this rule requires remanufacturing standards for marine engines, reductions in engine idling, and the use of after-treatment technology that will further reduce diesel emissions. Phasing in tighter long-term standards for PM and NOx will begin in 2014 for marine diesel engines and in 2015 for locomotive engines. Advanced after-treatment technology will apply to both types of engines. The effective dates for NOx will be two years earlier from last year's proposal, bringing cleaner air sooner.

This rule complements the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule and the Clean Air Diesel Truck and Bus Rule, currently under way nationwide.

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