Meeting Emissions Requirements

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

Emissions requirements for construction equipment on the job site are becoming more common, and contractors who do not bring their equipment up-to-date will not be competitive and will not get contracts. Michigan CAT held a well-attended meeting on September 23 at its Novi, MI, facility to inform contractors about how they can keep their equipment in compliance with emissions requirements and remain competitive.

Doug Needham, director of Technical Services for the Michigan Infrastructure & Transportation Association (MITA), told attendees that the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will be looking at putting emissions standard language into proposals for a freight terminal project in the Detroit, MI, area and the reconstruction of the Blue Water Bridge plaza at Port Huron, MI.

"We worked with Michigan CAT and some of their customers that have said, 'what can we do? We want to clean up our fleet. We've been in contract situations where we need to have some clean diesel equipment. What is my emissions profile?' We looked at a particular fleet and we said, well, with respect to your annual particulate emissions, 75 percent of your particulate emissions are coming from your excavator fleet, based on the hours of operation and the age of the fleet. Approximately 12 percent is coming from the dozers, and 13 percent is coming from generator sets, water pumps and so forth," said Ed Woods, of Caterpillar. Woods said that emissions could be significantly reduced by using available technology.

Woods said that federal funding to meet emissions requirements is available through nonprofit organizations such as the Clean Energy Coalition. He pointed out that Caterpillar dealers such as Michigan CAT are working with nonprofit organizations to help contractors meet emissions requirements.

"If you ever come across a contract that has a clean diesel requirement, or if you want to reduce emissions, you need to know what emissions are being targeted. Is it NOX? Is it particulate? Is it CO? Is it hydrocarbons? What's driving the request? Is it a corporate sustainability initiative? Is it contract language? What's the target level? 'How much do I need to reduce my emissions? What's my fleet profile?' In order to help the dealer out, you need to provide that information with the machine serial number," Woods said.