Bush backs clean diesel in construction, tractors

The Bush administration has approved new rules to cut NOx and particulate matter levels of from construction, agricultural and industrial diesel-powered equipment by over 90% between 2008 and 2015.

In 2008, the smallest engines from those classes of equipment must adhere to the new rules, followed by the largest engines in 2015. The sulfur levels in the diesel fuel used for those engines will be reduced as well, falling from 3,000 parts sulfur per million (ppm) today to 500 ppm in 2007 and 15 ppm by 2010.

The EPA noted that these rules are designed to emulate the tougher '07 emissions standard on buses and commercial vehicles.

The agency also took the first step toward creating new emission standards for diesel engines used in locomotives and marine vessels by issuing an advance notice of proposed rulemaking. Standards being considered would apply to new marine diesels and both new and existing diesel locomotives.

"We are going to make that burst of black smoke that erupts from diesels a thing of the past," said EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt.

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