The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has recently released the results of a joint study with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that focuses on low-cost ways to reduce air emissions from non-road construction equipment. The report, “Cleaner Diesels: Low Cost Ways to Reduce Emissions from Construction Equipment,” examines numerous equipment operation and maintenance practices, fuel strategies, and technologies. AGC is hopeful that states will use the report to create workable clean air plans that produce a balance between industry and economic interests with environmental goals.
AGC worked in partnership with the EPA’s Sector Strategies Program and the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) to document the costs and benefits of the strategies and discuss practical implementation issues.
“AGC recognizes that major engine overhauls and re-powers are extremely expensive, and some companies are better positioned than others to make such an investment,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “This report offers all contractors, and particularly the small businesses that dominate the industry, bottom-line information on affordable ways to bring about positive environmental results.”
So far, the EPA does not mandate retrofits and only encourages contractors to voluntarily clean up their equipment. Off-road construction equipment is a significant contributor to harmful emissions. In fact, the newly-released report states that the construction sector produces 32 percent of all mobile source NOx emissions and 37 percent of all particulate matter emissions. Starting in 2008, more stringent emission standards will drastically reduce emissions from new off-road construction equipment; however, older equipment will continue to operate on construction sites for years to come.
The report discusses detailed solutions that owners and operators of off-road construction equipment can use to produce both business and environmental benefits. AGC has made every effort to identify incentives for retrofitting in-use equipment, informing fleet owners of grant opportunities, securing federal funding, and crafting and promoting a federal tax incentive.
“EPA appreciates AGC’s many contributions to our Clean Diesel Campaign,” said Peter Truitt, EPA, Construction Industry Point-of-Contact. “In this report, AGC contractors and other experts offer ideas and practical advice for reducing emissions. AGC staff worked with us to pull together an information-packed quick read that should help contractors get started.”