Vehicle emission reduction equipment requirements

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Emission reduction equipment requirements are in place to reduce the volatile substances which enter the atmosphere especially through fossil fuel sources. Common substances which are detrimental to air quality include SO2, NOx, ozone, and particulate matter. Additionally, off-road vehicles such as those used for agriculture and construction, are liable to the Tier 4 emission standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency to have been reached by 2015.



Conceptual Example

Local city roads are undergoing multiple road reconstruction projects and therefore have many construction vehicles adding to the production of emissions within the city. To combat this problem and increase emission reductions, the city adopts this policy which will require all construction vehicles to use ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel) as well as be equipped with the most current EPA approved diesel engine.

Specific Example

Through the passing of Local Law 77, New York City pushed to combat emissions production by requiring that contractors who were working on the Twin Towers meet a minimum emission standard by using emission control devices to reduce pollution effects of the project. There were concerns about how this would be enforced; thus, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) created a web tool called the Clean Diesel Clearing House which helps contractors and people monitoring the health of city air to learn how certain equipment pieces affect the air quality.



Tradeoffs of implementing this policy may include:

  1. Reduction in local construction
  2. Price of replacing engines
  3. Price of investing in new technology
  4. Continued reliance on fossil fuels rather than alternatives
  5. Difficult to enforce
Compatibility Assessment

Compatibility Assessment.png

If answered yes, the following questions indicate superior conditions under which the policy is more likely to be appropriate:

  1. Have harmful air emissions contributed to public health issues?
  2. Does the city or town endure large amounts of construction or congestion?
  3. Do air quality monitors indicate negative results?
  4. Has there been public opinion indicating desire for environmental reforms?
  5. Does smog exist and has it effected weather or water quality of the city or town?


Assuming that a jurisdiction has decided to adopt the policy, the following questions will need to be answered when determining how to implement this policy:

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  • Notable entities who have implemented or adopted this policy include:
      1. Chicago, IL – requires contractors to receive “Green Fleet Score”, made to reduce emissions
  1. Los Angeles, CA – all trucks must have a 2007 model year engine
  2. Oakland, CA – prohibits trucks with 1993 engine or lower. Additionally, those trucks who purchase alternative fueled trucks can receive funding through the Goods Movement Emission Reduction Funding Program.
  3. Seattle, WA – recommends trucks to have 1994 engine or newer.
  4. Port of Houston, TX – encourage trucks to seek eligibility though the Texas Emissions Reduction Program.

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