1997 News Releases
PA EPA FINALIZES DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES EMISSIONS STANDARDS
Release Date: 12/19/97
FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 1997
EPA FINALIZES DIESEL LOCOMOTIVES EMISSIONS STANDARDS
EPA today finalized the first standards to protect human health from air pollution from diesel locomotives. The new standards will be phased in starting Jan. 1, 2000, when new locomotive engines must meet a nitrogen oxide standard. Additional reductions in nitrogen oxides plus particulate matter are set for 2005. The standards apply to new engines as well as older engines each time they are “re-manufactured”, or given major repair, throughout their service life. Typically, a locomotive will be in service for 40 or more years before it is scrapped. During that time an engine may be re-manufactured several times to bring it back to “as new” condition. They also travel up to a million miles between re-manufactures. Some of the same models are manufactured for many years, with changes and improvements made continually over time. The long service life makes fleet turnover occur less frequently than any other category of mobile sources. These unusual features make it important to include existing locomotives in the regulations. The Agency expects the emissions reduction program will be especially beneficial for cities with major railroad hubs where pollution from train engines can account for as much as ten percent of total nitrogen oxide emissions. When fully phased in, the standards will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about two thirds or more than 600,000 tons annually. Locomotive produced hydrocarbons and particulate matter would be cut in half. This would be equivalent to removing more than 30 million passenger cars from the road. Hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide are the main constituents of ground-level ozone, or smog. Smog causes serous respiratory illnesses and exacerbates asthma attacks in children. Particulate matter has been associated wth cancer and premature death.