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Nortrax Ohio Talks Regulations, Ratings at Emissions Clinic

Sat June 05, 2010 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Nortrax Ohio hosted an Emissions 101 clinic May 20 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg, Ohio.

The event featured Joe Mastanduno, product marketing manager of engine and drivetrains at John Deere, and Nortrax General Manager Mark Hash, who opened the event by explaining that, because navigating the emissions landscape can be intimidating, it is Nortrax’s goal to partner with its customers to help them understand new regulations involving Interim Tier IV emissions standards.

Mastanduno discussed how the highway trucking industry has been dealing with many of these issues in advance of the construction marketplace and that there were many lessons to be learned. The keys to addressing these new requirements are communications, training and awareness.

Mastanduno also covered issues such as non-attainment regions and how these areas are tested and determined. Non-attainment areas are regions that do not meet federal air quality standards for pollutants such as ozone and particulate matter. The Environmental Protection Agency establishes these areas based on monitoring stations situated throughout specific regions. He went on to explain that, based on these evaluations, the federal government may withhold funding.

According to Mastanduno, every five years the EPA is able to reevaluate and update its maps indicating non-attainment areas. With new maps due out this August, it is expected that tighter standards will mean a significant increase in areas of non-attainment throughout the country, with a significant impact on construction in Ohio and other areas.

To meet EPA goals to reduce ozone in non-attainment areas, local and state governments are likely to impose standards on contractors based on a rating system applied to all equipment used on the job site. Fleet scores will be based on model years and whether or not the equipment is fitted with a filter. Mastanduno discussed ways contractors might work to deal with these new standards. Many of these measures are currently being employed in states like California and Illinois (two places leading the drive to limit ozone and particulate matter output). One way of meeting the new regulations is by updating fleets in whole or part with new Tier IV compliant machines. Another approach is installing an after treatment device (filter), which basically heats exhausts to an extremely high temperature to eliminate pollutants on existing machines. Another popular approach is re-powering existing equipment with new Tier IV compliant engines. Some contractors may elect to supplement their machines on the job site with rented equipment to bring the overall equipment ratings on specific jobs within the required range.

Mastanduno provided an overview of the technologies currently available and in development to address interim Tier IV.

In most instances, rather than a single device or approach, equipment is now being designed to employ several complementing technologies. A few of those technologies include high fuel efficiency engines, new high temperature filters, remote monitoring systems, new low ash oil, new coolants, and fuels.

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