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ATA Won't Fight Diesel Rules

November 23, 2004

After years of resistance, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) says it will not try to impede or delay a new federal rule aimed at cutting diesel pollution, according to the Associated Press. The ATA is satisfied by the Bush administration's attention to industry concerns, the group's officials say. The Clinton-era rule backed by President Bush's Environmental Protection Agency in 2001 requires cleaner diesel fuel beginning in 2006, and less-polluting diesel engines in tractor-trailer rigs and other heavy-duty trucks and buses starting in 2007. All new engines would be covered by 2010. “Many environmental groups have been concerned that ATA will seek a delay in the implementation of the rule. I can tell you without reservation that ATA does not intend to challenge EPA's diesel engine emission standards,'' Bill Graves, the group's president, said in a prepared speech that he delivered Nov. 17. “It is very clear to ATA and the motor carrier industry that this rule will result in significant positive impacts on the quality of our nation's air,'' Graves, a former Republican governor of Kansas, said in the speech. The new rule requires refiners to lower the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel for truck and bus engines from the current level of 500 parts per million down to less than 15 parts per million by June 2006. That means less pollution will come out of the tailpipes. It also requires manufacturers to phase in between 2007 and 2010 cleaner-burning diesel engines for tractor-trailer rigs and other heavy-duty trucks and buses. New trucks will cost an average $5,000 to $10,000 more and the fuel economy is expected to be only slightly less efficient, according to the trade group.
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