Environmental Observer

EPA Publishes New Technical Bulletins on Diesel Retrofit Devices, Updates List of Verified Technologies Approved for Construction Equipment

July 1, 2010

New technical bulletins are now available on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) National Clean Diesel Campaign (NCDC) website to support fleet managers who are considering Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOCs) or Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs) as potential retrofit technologies.  Click here for a list of "verified" retrofit technologies that the Agency has approved for use on construction equipment. 

EPA's NCDC is a voluntary program that promotes the reduction of diesel emissions from construction equipment and vehicles. The Campaign encourages the use of innovative engine emission control technologies and the replacement of older equipment by promoting retrofit incentives and providing technical assistance.

Now available on EPA's website are the following technical bulletins that provide information on proper installation, operation and maintenance of two commonly used retrofit technologies (click on the links below):

Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC)

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

AGC of America has been actively involved in EPA's NCDC since its inception in the year 2000.  AGC will continue to partner with EPA to provide AGC Chapters and members with the information they need to make the voluntary program work wherever there is local interest.  On the legislative front, AGC will continue to urge U.S. Congress to provide financial and technical assistance to construction equipment owners and operators who make informed decisions to install emissions control technologies on their diesel engines.  However, AGC strongly maintains the position that diesel retrofit decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis; contractors must be mindful about when, where and how they retrofit their equipment.  Any "diesel retrofit" mandate that forces equipment upgrades may lead to conditions that could be unsafe for workers.  Indeed, AGC presented testimony before EPA earlier this year explaining how California's plan to require construction contractors to install emissions reduction kits on their off-road diesel equipment will endanger workers and force job cuts. 

Verified Emission Reduction Technologies

EPA has developed a list of "verified" retrofit technologies that the Agency has approved for use on construction equipment.  Click here for a PDF chart or see below for a link to EPA's web page.  The list includes information on the emission reduction capabilities of each technology.  EPA requires extensive testing and analysis on each technology to ensure that the verified emission reductions will be achieved on a number of engine family applications.  EPA works to verify new technologies as they come to market, in partnership with the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  EPA has also established a comprehensive list of idle-control technologies.

EPA's verification process is designed to ensure that a particular device will effectively reduce the emissions from the engines to which it is attached.  The process is not designed to ensure, and it does not ensure, that a particular device is feasible to install on a particular piece of equipment.  A device may well pass its "laboratory test" and still prove infeasible to install because, for example, it would block the operator's line of sight and create a serious safety hazard.  Recent proceedings on California's request for federal approval of its off-road diesel rule have had highlighted such safety hazards, and even California now appears to appreciate that safety factors require serious attention.  

For More Information

For more information, contact EPA's helpline at 1-877-NCDC-FACTS or send an email to cleandiesel@epa.gov.  Answers about clean diesel funding and technologies are typically provided within one business day.