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Environmental Defense Fund Welcomes EPA Clean Air Standards to Reduce Hazardous Diesel Pollution
Date:2/26/2009

Proposal Would Address One Million Stationary Diesel Engines

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Environmental Defense Fund welcomes new clean air standards proposed by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to protect public health from about one million stationary diesel engines in operation today. The emission standards would take effect beginning in 2013, reducing emissions of hazardous volatile organic compounds, lethal particulate pollution, carbon monoxide, and oxides of nitrogen. Stationary diesel engines would also be required to use ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, a cleaner fuel broadly deployed today in the nation's mobile diesel fleet.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090226/DC76056)

"Cleaning up these engines is one of the most important actions EPA can take to protect public health," said Dr. John Balbus, chief health scientist at Environmental Defense Fund and a member of the EPA Children's Health Protection Advisory Committee. "Stationary diesel engines are often located in populated areas where they can expose people to high levels of toxic diesel exhaust."

Diesel exhaust, which is emitted from a variety of engines, is associated with more cancer risk than any other airborne contaminant. The one million stationary diesel engines nationwide are used to generate electricity both as a prime and backup electricity generation source, in oil and gas extraction, and in a variety of other applications. EPA's proposal was required under a judicial Consent Decree with the Environmental Defense Fund, which was court-approved on January 3, 2008.

"EPA is deploying today's cost-effective clean air solutions to protect human health from dangerous diesel exhaust," said Janea Scott, a senior attorney at Environmental Defense Fund involved in negotiating the settlement agreement. "Fortunately, clean air solutions are at hand to protect the health of our neighborhoods and communities."

An Environmental Defense Fund analysis of the cancer burden associated with back-up diesel electricity generators in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento found that more than 150,000 children attended schools within the cancer risk zones of backup diesel generators. California is one of only a few states, including Delaware and Texas, that have clean air programs to reduce pollution from stationary diesel engines.

Diesel exhaust contributes more than 70 percent of the cancer risk from air pollution in the United States. It is also a major source of particulate pollution and ozone. Particulate pollution is linked to asthma attacks, cardiovascular and respiratory problems, strokes, heart attacks and premature death. High ozone (smog) levels are linked to respiratory problems and premature death. Children, the elderly, and the ill are especially susceptible to harm from breathing diesel exhaust.

Existing stationary diesel engines can be cleaned up by using ultra low sulfur diesel and many of the same cost-effective technologies already being used to dramatically reduce pollution from mobile diesel engines, such as heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment. For example, installing advanced emission control technologies in a stationary diesel engine and using ultra low sulfur diesel fuel can more than halve emissions.

In June 2006, EPA finalized protective standards for new stationary diesel engines that will reduce nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other pollutants from each new engine by about 90 percent. EPA's proposal today, addressing existing stationary diesel engines, is another important step in providing cleaner, healthier air for all Americans by reducing diesel pollution. Environmental Defense Fund legal action compelled both EPA rulemakings.

Click here to learn more about stationary diesel engines and see photos of them. (If you are unable to access hyperlinks above to EPA proposal and stationary diesel engines fact sheet and photos, you can receive a copy of both by contacting Jenny Andreassen at 202-572-3387 or jandreassen@edf.org).

Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit http://www.edf.org/

Contact:

Sean Crowley, 202-572-3331, scrowley@edf.org

Janea Scott, 213-223-2186, jscott@edf.org

Vickie Patton, 720-837-6239, vpatton@edf.org


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SOURCE Environmental Defense Fund
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