Keep on Greenin'

By Ron Hutchinson, CEM, 2007-2008 National President | September 28, 2010

Since our last issue of “Equipment Manager,” the Christmas and New Year Holidays have come and gone. I hope the 2007 season was safe and satisfying for everyone involved in our business. This past October, our family was blessed with our first grandchild, Jessica Rae. Her birth was a reminder of our obligation to the environment that will impact her life for many years to come.

Over the past years, we asset managers have seen major changes in the regulations that govern the operation of our asphalt, concrete and aggregate production facilities. Many of our plants have earned environmental awards from various organizations, and we need to commend everyone that has accomplished this.

For the past several years, the engine manufacturers and fuel/oil suppliers have been working to reduce pollutants, including NOx (nitrogen oxide) and PM (particle matter), in the exhaust of new diesel engines that we all use in our new equipment, both on- and off-road. Our next challenge is the reduction of the pollutants put out by our existing equipment. With diesel-powered equipment sometimes lasting in excess of 25 years, there is a large pool of machinery that will be regulated in the near future, and that development will greatly impact the way we as asset managers conduct our business.

Even though the final plans for the various states have not yet been enacted, the Association of Equipment Management Professionals recognize this as an important issue. AEMP is determined to be the place to go to obtain information or education on this subject. We will see new rules enacted in the next three to five years in various locations, and now is the time to start taking a proactive approach to preserve our companies' strength in the industry. The positive economic impact will be great to the general health and well-being of the public sector. There will be grants available to support asset managers working to obtain the results we need, but homework will be required. We need to survey our fleets and investigate ways to achieve reductions in NOx and PM that will fit into our business plans.

Now back to Jessica Rae, as well as your children and grandchildren. We as leaders in the equipment profession need to recognize our duty to protect the environment and the health of all our children and children's children. We have been “greening” for years, but the work is not done. Keep up the good work.