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Senate Panel Advances Diesel Emissions Legislation

Posted by Rypos on Jul 31, 2019 3:00:00 PM

Legislation that aims to facilitate emissions reduction from diesel engines was easily approved April 10 by the committee that oversees surface transportation policy in the U.S. Senate.

Sponsored by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) of 2019 would reauthorize the program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency through 2024 to assist firms with rebuilding or retrofitting diesel engines. The objective is for those updated engines to be able to comply with pollution standards.

The Environment and Public Works panel advanced the measure to the floor of the Senate by voice vote. Carper, the panel’s ranking Democrat, had initially authored the bill more than a decade ago with former Ohio Sen. George Voinovich (R).

“Year after year, DERA has cost-effectively reduced air pollution and fueled American job creation,” Carper said in a statement soon after the vote. “Boasting $13 of health and economic benefits for every $1 of federal investment, it’s no wonder that DERA enjoys such broad, bipartisan support.”

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Tags: Regulation, Emissions, Legislation

California Vessel Emissions Rules Could Get Even Tougher

Posted by Rypos on Jul 3, 2019 9:00:00 AM

In a recent article in the industry journal, Workboat, Kirk Moore reports on a recent announcement by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on the beginning of the process of modifying the state’s existing Commercial Harbor Craft Rule.

"Now in its implementation phase, the rule makes California the only state in the U.S. that requires most vessels with older engines — pre-dating the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency diesel emissions standards, or just meeting Tier 1 standards — to be repowered with newer Tier 2 or Tier 3 engines before the end of their economic lives."

According to CARB's notice of rulemaking intent, the CARB staff contends commercial vessel operations in state waters “will continue to contribute a significant amount of diesel particulate matter risk after full implementation of the current regulation in 2023,”

This notice starts a fact-finding process which includes seeking input from the maritime industry and other stakeholders. CARB is proposing to complete that and have a rule proposal ready to present to board members in 2020. These efforts would bring more stringent requirements for tugboats and other freight-related vessels, and for passenger vessels including ferries and excursion boats. The CARB staff will also look at the feasibility of retrofitting existing vessels with Tier 4 propulsion, advanced emission control devices, hybrid power and alternative fuels.

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Tags: Regulation, Emissions, Marine

Air Pollution Is Slowly Killing Us All, New Global Study Claims

Posted by Rypos on May 22, 2019 4:00:00 PM

It wasn’t that long ago that most of us had never heard of fine particulate matter, or FPM. It’s a term that first appeared in news reports surrounding the Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal.

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Tags: Diesel Particulate Filter, World Health Organization, Emissions, Pollution

Environmental Health Hazards Impacting The City Of Long Beach

Posted by Greg Korst on May 22, 2019 11:00:00 AM

When it comes to air quality, Long Beach and Los Angeles County rank among the most polluted areas in the nation. According to the 2019 “State of the Air” report released by the American Lung Association (ALA) last month, Southern California residents “face the most challenging air pollution levels in the United States.”

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Tags: Emissions, Air Quality, Pollution, Ports

Global Emissions Hit Record as Energy Demand Boosts Fuel Use

Posted by Rypos on Apr 24, 2019 1:15:00 PM

Carbon emissions from fossil-fuel use hit a record last year after energy demand grew at its fastest pace in a decade, reflecting higher oil consumption in the U.S. and more coal burning in China and India.

Those findings from the International Energy Agency mark a setback for the effort to rein in the pollution blamed for global warming just three years after a landmark deal in Paris where all nations committed to cut emissions.


The figures showed that natural gas is becoming a preferred fuel for factories and utilities while the pace of installing renewable forms of energy is lagging. The report also indicated the strength of the global economic expansion last year, with gains in electricity consumption and more notably in the U.S.

“We have seen spectacular growth of the economy in the U.S.,” said Fatih Birol, executive director of the Paris-based institution advising nations on energy policy. “We have seen several new petrochemical projects coming online.”

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Tags: Emissions, Air Quality, Pollution

Regulators Crack Down on Illegal Diesel Emissions-Control Equipment

Posted by Rypos on Nov 28, 2018 7:00:00 PM

California’s Air Resources Board fined a Chicago-based auto-parts dealer $294,000 in October for selling used filters, or DPFs, which are illegal in the state. That penalty follows a probe last year involving a repair shop in Fresno that was caught selling and installing illegal parts and sparked the ARB to investigate multiple other diesel repair shops in California’s Central Valley.

The Environmental Protection Agency began requiring new heavy-duty trucks to use DPFs in 2007. The filters can reduce particulate-matter emissions by as much as 90 percent.

A typical DPF installation costs $10,000 to $20,000 when purchased new. That’s one of the reasons why less costly used filters are becoming a problem for air regulators. Preowned filters often cost as little as $3,000 to $5,000, according to the Air Resources Board.

“We’re finding an increased number of fleets installing used DPFs,” said Heather Quiros, chief of the California ARB Diesel Programs Enforcement Branch.

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Tags: Transportation, Regulation, Emissions, Pollution

West Coast Ports Eye Strict Emissions Standards for Trucks, Call for Zero-Emission Rigs by 2035

Posted by Rypos on Feb 4, 2018 11:00:00 AM

Todd Dills, Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine discusses a new bill introduced this month in the Washington State House that seeks to require all trucks doing business at port terminals in Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver to be powered by 2007 or newer model engines.

"The bill, if passed, would require all drayage trucks moving into and out of high-volume ports (with a total of more than 20 million annual tons of “domestic and foreign waterborne trade,” including Seattle and Tacoma) to be of 2007 and newer model year engines by January 1, 2019. It’s a strategy that has been pursued at Los Angeles and Long Beach ports previously, likewise more recently in New York and New Jersey.

Under the terms of the bill, further, by “January 1, 2035, all drayage trucks delivering goods to or receiving goods from a high-volume port must be zero emission vehicles.”

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Tags: Regulation, Emissions, Port, Seattle

Food Standards, Emission Regulations Affect Load Flexibility for Refrigerated Fleets

Posted by Rypos on Jan 15, 2018 10:15:00 AM

The nationwide growth in demand for fresher foods has contributed to a boom in the refrigerated transportation sector. But tighter food-handling standards and emission regulations are limiting the load flexibility and utilization options that carriers may have had in the past while driving significantly higher equipment and operating costs.

The challenge refrigerated carriers face, industry executives said, is to use the newer trailers and technologies available today to maximize utilization and load flexibility within the constraints of the cold chain and emission regulations.

“The need for temperature-control transportation is a growing trend in the United States,” said Mark Domzalski, senior vice president of sales and operations with Newark, N.J-based PLM Trailer Leasing. Legislation and activities involving the Food Safety Modernization Act “are requiring more stringent measures of control for the transport of food across the U.S.”

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Tags: Transportation, Emissions, TRU