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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

5/17/2004    Freight News



Rail News: Mechanical

EPA rule requires railroads to start using low-sulfur fuel in 2007, AAR says




The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a rule requiring railroads to begin using low-sulfur fuel within three years, according to the Association of American Railroads.

The rule caps diesel sulfur content at 500 parts per million in 2007 and 15 parts per million in 2012.

EPA officials also announced they intend to propose more stringent locomotive-engine emission standards that would be modeled after the "Clean Air Non-road Diesel" engines program. The standards might require railroads to use advanced emission-control technologies that soon will be required for heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses.

"While the government has spent millions of dollars on developing such technology for highway use, up to now, it has spent nothing on similar locomotive research," said AAR officials in a news item on the association's Web site.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe officials believe low-sulfur fuel will cost about seven cents more per gallon, but the net cost will be about four cents per gallon because the cleaner-burning fuel will help reduce engine-maintenance expenses.

"It is important that diesel engines keep getting cleaner as we maintain their fuel efficiency benefits," said Mark Stehly, BNSF assistant vice president, technical research, development and environment, in a prepared statement.




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