Pollution from diesel engines is an ever increasing problem across the U.S. and it significantly contributes to air pollution, especially in urban areas. Diesel exhaust is made up of small particles, known as fine particulate matter. Fine particles pose a serious health risk because they can easily pass through the nose and throat and lodge themselves in the lungs. When inhaled repeatedly, the fine particles in diesel exhaust may aggravate asthma and allergies or cause other serious health problems including lung cancer.
On March 10, 2015, the EPA proposed requirements for implementing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for fine particle pollution (also known as PM2.5) in areas that are designated nonattainment for these standards. These requirements would apply to current and future fine particle pollution standards.
Many States have already begin to implement regulation that limit the output of PM in diesel exhaust emissions such as Title 17, Section 93115 of the CA Code of Regulations. Within the State of California, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) is the air pollution control agency for all of Orange County and the urban portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, among the smoggiest regions of the U.S. SCAQMD adopted/implemented Rule 1470 to regulate emissions exhaust of diesel engines. Also in San Francisco, California, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) utilizes a Toxic Risk Assessment to determine how many hours a diesel engine may operate without utilize exhaust after-treatment.
PM from diesel engines is a widespread problem across New England and it significantly contributes to air pollution, especially in urban areas. EPA New England is working to advance cleaner diesel engines, promote pollution control technology, prevent unnecessary idling and ultimately, make the black puff of smoke that can come from these engines an image of the past.
With continued tightening of clean air standards more facilities are turning to diesel particulate filters to ensure their combustion ignition engines meet emissions requirements for particulate matter (PM). There are several diesel particulate filter solutions available to equipment owners/operators generally termed as passive or active filters. While passive filters seem to satisfy many basic requirements for controlling PM, active filters appear to provide a much better return on investment as maintenance requirements are reduced and optimum operating conditions of the filter are regularly achieved.
For additional information pertaining to State and Federal requirements and solutions for controlling diesel particulate matter (PM), please contact us.