Maryland retrofits construction equipment to cut emissions

ARRA funds helped Maryland retrofit diesel equipment for fewer pollutants.
ARRA funds helped Maryland retrofit diesel equipment for fewer pollutants.
The Maryland Department of the Environment has used $1.7 million in federal stimulus funds to retrofit construction equipment at port and environmental facilities across the state to cut down on diesel emissions, the state announced.

Reducing diesel emissions is a national priority for the Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign, which awards funding to states each year for clean diesel projects.

"Maryland is already tackling diesel pollution with projects that are lessening emissions from school and transit buses, municipal fleets, trucks and port equipment," said James W. Newsom, acting deputy administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mid-Atlantic region.

Each year, diesel vehicles produce 46,000 tons of soot emissions in Maryland. Recovery funding from EPA will help reduce diesel emissions from marine vessels, construction equipment, drayage trucks and garbage trucks, the EPA said.

The program funds replacement of old diesel engines with cleaner-burning engines, retrofitting vehicles and equipment with filters to reduce particulates, closed crankcase ventilation filtration devices and projects to lessen the idling of buses.

Diesel-powered dredging equipment used by the Maryland Port Administration and Maryland Environmental Service has been retrofitted with diesel particulate filters to cut emissions by more 90 percent.