Proposed Clean Diesel Bill Would Reduce Construction Emissions

October 7, 2011

Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) introduced the Clean Construction Act of 2011 on Thursday, which would significantly reduce emissions from diesel construction equipment at major highway projects in heavily polluted areas.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the non-profit Clean Air Task Force (CATF) signaled their support for the bipartisan legislation that would provide state transportation officials the authority and funding to incorporate clean construction equipment on federally funded transportation projects in PM2.5 Non-Attainment and Maintenance areas.

“On behalf of the Associated General Contractors (AGC) and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF), we thank Reps. Hanna and Edwards for their strong leadership, commitment and vision in ensuring that the air we breathe and the projects we build are simultaneously strong and healthy for the communities in which they are built,” said Conrad Schneider, advocacy director of the Clean Air Task Force. “This legislation provides a targeted approach to reducing emissions from construction machines that will be used in the areas of the country that are struggling to meet federal air quality standards. We are thrilled to be standing side-by-side with the contractors in support of the Clean Construction Act of 2011.”

“This proposal will help safeguard construction jobs and rebuild our aging network of highways and bridges while protecting the environment,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “It reflects an appreciation of the fact that how we build infrastructure is often as important as where we build it."

Diesel engines power nearly all of the heavy-duty vehicles and equipment required to build and repair roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. Emissions from older equipment can be reduced by up to 85 percent with the installation of cost-effective technology, and newly manufactured diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are becoming cleaner every day. While new diesel engines will include innovative clean diesel technology achieving near zero particulate matter emissions, fleet turnover of equipment without that modern technology will take many years.