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EPA Clears the Air: New Standards Drastically Cut Locomotive and Marine Diesel Pollution

Release Date: 03/14/2008
Contact Information: Cathy Milbourn, (202) 564-4355/ milbourn.cathy@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. - March 14, 2008) 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.

"Today 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 oxides emissions (NOx) by 80 percent or nearly 800,000 tons. Nationwide this regulation will help prevent 1,400 premature deaths, and 120,000 lost workdays annually in 2030. 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.

Working in collaboration with our partners and our commitment to clean technology helps make EPA's Clean Diesel Locomotive and Marine program possible. The rule 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.

Today's action is another achievement in EPA's efforts to reduce pollution from diesel engines. This new rule complements the Clean Air Nonroad Diesel Rule and the Clean Air Diesel Truck and Bus Rule, currently underway nationwide.

For more information about this action visit:

Clean Diesel Locomotive: epa.gov/otaq/locomotv.htm

Clean Diesel Marine: epa.gov/otaq/marine.htm

For more information about the heavy-duty diesel trucks and bus program visit: epa.gov/otaq/hd-hwy.htm