Engine manufacturers are on target to introduce new cleaner diesel engines in 2007, according to an EPA report released on March 4 reporting on progress toward meeting new diesel engine standards that go into effect in three years.

Just days before a review of the Environmental Protection Agency’s administration of diesel-exhaust rules was scheduled for release, EPA put out its own report and declared that all engine manufacturers “are on track for 2007 implementation” of strict emissions standards.

Once the 2007 program is fully implemented, 2.6 million tons of smog-causing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions will be reduced each year. Soot or particulate matter (PM) will be reduced by 110,000 tons a year. An estimated 8,300 premature deaths; 5,500 cases of chronic bronchitis and 17,600 cases of acute bronchitis in children will also be prevented annually. It is also estimated to help avoid more than 360,000 asthma attacks and 386,000 cases of respiratory symptoms in asthmatic children every year. In addition, 1.5 million lost work days; 7,100 hospital visits and 2,400 emergency room visits for asthma will be prevented.

EPA met with nearly 30 companies over the last year-and-a-half to compile its extensive review of the progress by industry to develop clean diesel technologies on time for 2007. The report documents work from a wide variety of public and private sources to reach its conclusions regarding 2007 readiness.

EPA's review of industry progress shows that engine manufacturers are on target to introduce new engines in 2007; diesel particulate filters that reduce harmful PM emissions by more than 90 percent will be used by all manufacturers; NOx control will be accomplished using proven technologies some of which are in production today; and engine manufacturers will conduct early prototype testing with trucking customers in 2005. These new clean engines operated on the 15 ppm sulfur diesel fuel will reduce NOx emissions by 50 percent and PM emissions by more than 90 percent and will substantially contribute to air quality improvement across the country, help states meet Clean Air Act goals and further protect public health and the environment.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials