Sacramento, CA – In an event designed to showcase the major advances in clean diesel technology spurred largely due to stringent emissions standards and regulations established by the State of California and its Air Resources Board (ARB), diesel industry and ARB officials held a press conference today to highlight the key policies and events that led to the transformation of "clean diesel" technology.
The press conference and day-long exhibition of some of the most modern clean diesel engines in the world were held outside the Cal-EPA building in downtown Sacramento.
ARB Chair Mary Nichols outlined the progress and future challenges in the advancement of diesel technology. In a video presentation to open the press conference, Nichols stated, "We've had tremendous success thanks to the willingness and ability of the industry to get creative when faced with the challenge of reducing emissions and nitrogen oxide and fine particulates."
"Today's diesel engines emit about 90 percent less of these pollutants than they did when we first started this effort," Nichols said. "And while we still have work to do – especially in turning over the fleet of older vehicles that are out there on the roads, the fact is that we've seen actual air quality improving, especially around our ports where we first started the effort to really turn over the fleet."
Progress in Emissions Reductions
ARB Executive Officer James Goldstene also participated in the press conference and discussed progress in reducing emissions.
"For the past decade, we have been setting stringent diesel engine emission and clean fuel standards," Goldstene said. "At every stage, industry has responded by developing a range of technologies that deliver cleaner diesel engines. Thanks to this progress, California is on track to reduce the health risks associated with exposure to diesel exhaust by 85 percent by the year 2020."
During the press conference, Allen Schaeffer, Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum, highlighted the major advancements in clean diesel technology and remembered the early days when many thought new emissions standards would lead to the end of diesel engines.
"Today we come together to recognize a fundamental transformation of an industry to a new technology –clean diesel – the most advanced diesel engines, ultra-low sulfur diesel fuels and advanced emissions control technology," Schaeffer said.
"Diesel technology plays a central role in the California economy, contributing more than $13 billion on an annual basis here. To the broader US economy, Diesel technology and fuels add $483 billion in value and about 1.25 million jobs nationwide and are a high value export, accounting for $46.2 billion in exports in 2009.
Diesel's economic importance here in California is matched only by its progress in reducing emissions and improving California's air quality."
Schaeffer noted that according to the Air Resources Board, from 1990 through 2015, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from heavy duty diesel trucks will have declined by nearly 74 percent; from non-road construction machines by 63 percent and 73 percent in farm equipment.Oxides of nitrogen – a component of ozone or smog formation—will have declined by 21 percent in heavy duty trucks, 52 percent in non-road construction equipment and 65 percent in farm equipment.