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Speeches By EPA Administrator

 

Non-Road Diesel Event, Newark, New Jersey

04/17/2003
Remarks of Governor Christine Todd Whitman
Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
at the
Non-Road Diesel Event
Newark, New Jersey

April 17, 2003


Thank you Jane (Kenny) for that introduction. I = m pleased to be home in New Jersey, and I want to thank Sunoco and Sprague Energy for hosting this event. For more than 130 years, Sprague Energy has helped meet America = s energy needs and have grown to become a leading supplier of clean fuel for the entire United States. As such, it seems fitting that we are here to talk about an important new initiative aimed at mobile sources that will greatly improve the quality of our air.

On Tuesday, EPA announced a new rule that would dramatically reduce harmful emissions from diesel engines used in construction, farming, industrial, and airport service equipment. These so-called non-road diesel engines are a major source of emissions that, up until this point, have been virtually unregulated. Since tractors and bulldozers are not a common sight on the highway during our daily commute, it may seem that their impact on our air is relatively small.

However, quite the opposite is true. Just one large bulldozer produces 800 pounds of air pollution a year, which is equivalent to the pollution associated with 26 cars. Non-road diesel engines as a whole account for 44% of particulate matter and 12% of nitrogen oxide emissions that enter our air from mobile sources. Both of these pollutants have harmful effects on our air quality. From inducing smog that shrouds our cities and open spaces to making it difficult for Americans with respiratory problems to breathe B especially children with asthma B these emissions not only affect the purity of our air but our lives as well.

Under this new rule, these emissions would be reduced by 90%, which means that the 800 pounds of pollution emitted by that bulldozer will be reduced to 80. As a result of these reductions, we will achieve important health benefits. By 2030, when fully implemented, we estimate that 9,600 premature deaths, over 8,300 hospitalizations, and one million lost work days will be avoided every year. The annual savings from these benefits will total over $80 billion B far outweighing the estimated annual program costs of $1.5 billion.

As part of this proposal, we are also requiring sulfur reductions in non-road diesel fuel of 99%, from 3400 parts per million now to 15 parts per million in 2010. This means advanced emission control systems will be required on this equipment for the first time ever. These new engine technologies, coupled with the lower sulfur fuel, will operate together to more effectively reduce the damage to our environment and our health caused by diesel emissions. Sprague Energy, with tankers such as the one behind me, is already distributing ultra low sulfur fuel to many areas of the northeast. The fuel they supply is used in public transit, school buses, and at construction sites.

By working together in partnership with both the fuel providers, such as Sprague, and engine manufacturers, we are confident that the complete transition to cleaner burning non-road diesel engines will be an efficient and successful process. It = s important to note that this new non-road diesel announcement is part of a series of rules that have put stringent new emissions requirements on all mobile sources. We = ve set new tail pipe standards and we = re utilizing low sulphur gasoline in addressing emissions from cars and SUV = s. We = re working to reduce diesel pollution from large trucks and buses, and we = re advancing efforts to curb the pollution associated with recreational vehicles. As you can see, taken together, we have addressed the full fleet of on-road and off-road vehicles. By addressing our mobile sources in a comprehensive manner, we will be reaping tremendous environmental results. When fully implemented, these programs will reduce air pollution by nearly 7 million tons and save over 23,000 lives a year. Of course, mobile sources are only a piece of our work to improve air quality.

Initiatives such as President Bush = s Clear Skies Act B the most important reduction proposed by any President for the electric utility sector B and Clean School Bus USA B improving the pollution performance of our public school buses, are furthering our efforts to provide Americans with cleaner air. As we move forward with this new non-road rule, we will work closely with business and all interested stakeholders to ensure the success of this effort.

Over the next few months, we will hold several public hearings to discuss this rule, and a final rule will be issued next spring. As I have said many times before, this Administration wants the success of our environmental efforts to be measured in real results B in progress, not endless process. Therefore, we will continue to press forward with our efforts to reduce air pollution until the result is cleaner air and the measure of progress is improved health and greater quality of life for this and future generations. Thank you.