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Proposed Legislation May Reduce Construction Emissions

Wed October 12, 2011 - National Edition
CEG



Emissions from diesel construction equipment will be significantly reduced at major highway projects in the most polluted areas, due to the Clean Construction Act of 2011 introduced Oct. 6 by Rep. Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.).

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and the non-profit Clean Air Task Force (CATF) signaled their strong support for the bipartisan legislation that would provide state transportation officials the authority and funding to incorporate the use of clean construction equipment on federally-funded transportation projects in PM2.5 Nonattainment and Maintenance areas.

“On behalf of the Associated General Contractors and the Clean Air Task Force, we thank Reps. Hanna and Edwards for their strong leadership, commitment and vision in ensuring that the air we breathe and the projects we build are simultaneously strong and healthy for the communities in which they are built,” said Conrad Schneider, advocacy director of the Clean Air Task Force. “This legislation provides a targeted approach to reducing emissions from construction machines that will be used in the areas of the country that are struggling to meet federal air quality standards. We are thrilled to be standing side-by-side with the contractors in support of the Clean Construction Act of 2011,” concluded Schneider.

“This proposal will help safeguard construction jobs and rebuild our aging network of highways and bridges while protecting the environment,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, chief executive officer of the Associated General Contractors of America. “It reflects an appreciation of the fact that how we build infrastructure is often as important as where we build it.”

Diesel engines are the workhorse of our economy; diesel powers nearly all of the heavy-duty vehicles and equipment that are required to build and repair our roads, bridges, hospitals and schools. Emissions from older equipment can be reduced by up to 85 percent with the installation of cost-effective technology, and newly manufactured diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are becoming cleaner every day. While new diesel engines will include innovative clean diesel technology that achieves near zero particulate matter emissions, fleet turnover of equipment without that modern technology will take many years.

While diverse in membership and priorities, AGC and CATF share a common interest in improving air quality and ensuring that the next generation of infrastructure projects is built utilizing clean emission control technology. AGC is the oldest and largest construction association in the country, with 95 chapters and more than 30,000 member companies; AGC has a presence in every state and local community. Similarly, CATF’s Diesel Clean-Up Campaign is endorsed by 12 national organizations and over 500 organizations across the country, providing a presence locally in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.