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Engine Manufacturers Ready to Tackle the New Marine Diesel Engine Challenges Proposed by EPA

The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) responded positively to the proposed new emission standards for marine and locomotive engines in the rulemaking recently announced by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If finalized and implemented as proposed, the new requirements for marine and locomotive engines will dramatically reduce emissions from diesel engines used in commercial and recreational marine vessels. EMA is committed to working with EPA to ensure these stringent, technology forcing standards are finalized in a manner consistent with the unique and practical aspects of marine and rail operations.

The new rule is significant because it completes a suite of recent diesel rules from EPA designed to reduce emissions from all new diesel engines in the United States by over 90%. Previously issued rules are yielding very significant emission reductions from on-highway trucks and buses, nonroad construction and farm equipment, and stationary generators and pumps and already require the use of cleaner diesel fuel in marine and locomotive applications.

"Engine manufacturers are committed to develop and modify existing advanced clean diesel engine technologies to meet the new, stringent marine engine emission standards that EPA has proposed," said Jed Mandel, EMA President. "In January 2007, engine manufacturers successfully introduced new heavy-duty truck engines with emission control systems that reduce PM and NOx emissions, and we are now engaged in developing similar technology for nonroad engines. We are committed to refine and transfer that technology in order to meet the new marine engine standards, and to continue to do our part to improve the nation's air quality."

"Meeting the substantial emission reductions called for in EPA's marine proposal is a challenging goal," Mr. Mandel continued. "The marine environment imposes significant challenges in terms of safety, reliability needs, vessel space and weight constraints, and engine operating temperatures. These unique features of the marine environment will require further advancements in new technologies, including aftertreatment, to make them suitable for use in the broad range of engines and vessels affected by EPA's proposed rulemaking. Nonetheless, with the advances in engine design that will be used to comply with the marine standards, the availability of Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel Fuel, and further refinements in aftertreatment systems, EMA believes that the stage is set for a rule that can achieve major reductions in engine emissions."

Part of EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign, the proposed marine rule will require 90% reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions, 80% reduction in nitrogen oxides, and additional reductions in hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and air toxics. The proposed marine reductions occur in two phases, with implementation of the most stringent standards slated to begin in 2014.

EMA and its members provided information to EPA regarding marine engines fuels and technologies, and met with EPA technical staff on several occasions to discuss the potential emission reductions that might be achievable for the marine sector. "We are pleased with the responsiveness of EPA staff and their willingness to engage with stakeholders. Although there may be need for some technical changes to the draft rule, the overall approach, proposed emissions levels, and implementation schedule appear to be workable. EPA's previous efforts to work with a wide-range of interested stakeholders on the on-highway and nonroad rules, including EMA and its members, paved the way for the marine diesel rule. Our initial assessment is that EPA has proposed an aggressive but implementable program to make clean diesel technology a reality for the marine environment," concluded Mandel.

EMA will prepare written comments on the proposed rule and is committed to working with EPA to assure a smooth transition to the new emission standards.

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