The proposed new legislation, which was introduced on October 6th by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-NY-24th) and Representative Donna Edwards (D-MD-4th), would fund cleaner diesel for federally-funded highway projects in PM2.5 non-attainment and maintenance areas, the areas that most need help in meeting the federal health-based air quality standards.
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the non-profit Clean Air Task Force (CATF) signaled their strong support for the bipartisan legislation that would provide state transportation officials the authority and funding to incorporate the use of clean construction equipment that would help improve air quality.
Diesel engines are the workhorse of our economy; diesel powers nearly all of the heavy-duty vehicles and equipment that are required to build and repair our roads, bridges, hospitals and schools.
Emissions from older equipment can be reduced by up to 85 percent with the installation of cost-effective technology, and newly manufactured diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are becoming cleaner every day.
While new diesel engines will include innovative clean diesel technology that achieves near-zero particulate matter emissions, fleet turnover of equipment without that modern air pollution reduction technology will take many years.
A federal bill bolsters the recent clean construction legislation passed by Pittsburgh City Council and voluntary emission reduction policies like the one UPMC enacted this summer.