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Heavy-Duty Motor Vehicles

For nearly two decades, NESCAUM’s Mobile Sources Group has worked to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, which are trucks and buses that weigh more than 8,500 lbs. and travel on the road. Included in the category are delivery vans, tractor trailers, transit and school buses, waste hauling trucks, and similar vehicles. Areas of focus include demonstrating emission reduction technologies, developing policy guidance on reducing diesel emissions at the state level, and assisting in the development of federal policies and programs.

Reductions in Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions

NESCAUM has investigated options to reduce GHG emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. In 2009, NESCAUM/NESCCAF completed a technical study that assesses available and emerging technologies that could be used to reduce CO2 emissions and lower fuel consumption from new heavy-duty long haul combination trucks in the United States in the 2012 to 2017 timeframe. In February 2006, NESCAUM and the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) held a workshop on heavy-duty vehicle fuel economy and GHG emissions that brought together policy makers, fleet owners, and manufacturers.

Retrofit Demonstration Projects and Program Development

NESCAUM has conducted a number of demonstration projects that have shown that substantial, cost-effective emissions reductions can be achieved from retrofitting heavy-duty vehicles. Information from these projects has also enabled the expansion of voluntary and mandatory retrofit programs in the region. These projects include:

  • A selective catalytic reduction (SCR) demonstration project conducted with Mack Trucks, United Parcel Service, Waste Management, and Department of Sanitation New York City. As part of the project, 10 tractor trailer United Parcel Service and two DSNY sanitation trucks were equipped with SCR systems. Two trucks also were equipped with particulate filters. The SCR-equipped trucks traveled hundreds of thousands of miles in service. Emissions testing at West Virginia University documented a 90 percent reduction in NOx emissions in the retrofitted vehicles.

  • The same project also placed 150 oxidation catalysts and 28 particulate filters in DSNY and Waste Management trucks throughout the region.
  • As part of a consent decree supplemental project with Cummins Engine Corporation, 125 DSNY trucks were retrofitted with particulate filters and four CNG street sweepers were placed in service.
  • With funding from Clean Air Communities, Idle Aire idling reduction systems were placed in service at the Hunts Point market in the Bronx in New York City. In addition, two truck stops along the New York State Thruway also received the truck stop electrification systems. EPA funding enabled NESCAUM to evaluate the effectiveness of the new technology.

These are a few of NESCAUM's retrofit projects - a complete list will be posted on the website soon.

Assistance in the Development of the EPA Voluntary Retrofit Program

With funding from the U.S. EPA, NESCAUM developed recommendations for establishing the EPA Voluntary Retrofit Program. The process included input from states, industry groups, emission control equipment manufacturers, testing laboratories, and federal environmental agencies in the U.S. and Canada. The study offered recommendations on the verification of emission control technologies, expansion of Urban Bus Program retrofit hardware in other heavy-duty vehicles, website development, and in-use verification procedures.

Development of State Heavy-Duty Emission Reduction Programs

Over the last ten years, NESCAUM has worked with our member states on a range of programs to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. In 1999 NESCAUM and the states developed a regional smoke opacity enforcement program. Seven of the eight NESCAUM states are currently enforcing smoke opacity standards. States in the region are currently considering making the opacity cutpoints more stringent, and NESCAUM is working with them to evaluate technical information in support of that process.

In addition, NESCAUM has worked with the states on the development of mandatory and voluntary retrofit programs for highway heavy-duty vehicles.

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