Compelling Public Heath, Economic Arguments for Better DPFs
More stringent regulation of ultrafine particulate emissions would improve public health, with measurable benefits stemming from increased use of diesel particulate filters, states a new report from MECA, the Washington, D.C.-based Manufacturers of Emission Controls Association.
MECA has embraced an approach that would regulate PN – particulate number – as a better way to tackle the UFPs (ultrafine particulates) that account for a relatively small amount of the total mass of particulate matter (PM), but a large portion of the health risks.
The report summarizes current understanding of the potential adverse health impacts of UFPs and outlines control strategies and technologies that can be used to meet current and upcoming U.S. EPA and California emission standards. The report quantifies the health benefits of the additional emission reductions that are realized when DPFs or gasoline particulate filters (GPFs) are used compared to only engine-based strategies.
Money and Lives
“It is clear that using DPFs, as well as GPFs, creates emission reductions beyond what is required by emissions standards – a bonus that translates directly into additional, quantifiable health benefits enjoyed by all Americans,” MECA executive director Joseph Kubsh said in a release.
The new report, Ultrafine Particulate Matter and the Benefits of Reducing Particle Numbers in the United States, was prepared for MECA by Fleets & Fuels publisher GNA – Gladstein, Neandross & Associates.
The report states that “The environmental and health benefits of these additional emissions reductions are substantial. Over the life of today’s vehicle and engine fleets, these reductions will yield an estimated $19.1 to $43.5 billion of additional environmental and health benefits from the highway diesel sector, as well as another $5.6 to $12.9 billion in environmental and health benefits from the non-road diesel sector.
A New Set of Standards?
“These benefits include the elimination of 349 to 780 premature deaths and almost 50,000 lost work days annually from the highway diesel sector and another 86 to196 premature deaths and roughly 12,238 lost work days annually from the non-road diesel sector.”
“Adding a PN limit in the light-duty sector would create additional, bonus emissions benefits of an additional $35.1 to $80.0 billion,” states the report, “including another roughly 900 premature deaths and 56,000 lost work days annually.”
MECA further recommends
- that the U.S. EPA and the California Air Resources Board consider a new set of heavy-duty diesel engine PM standards that would be equivalent in stringency to California’s future LEV III standards for light-duty vehicles;
- that EPA increase its in-use compliance monitoring of non-road diesel engines that are certified without DPFs;
- that the EPA and California coordinate activities to develop a methodology for measuring UFP emissions and particle numbers;
- that environmental agencies around the world follow the U.S. lead and tighten evaporative emission limits as a way to control secondary organic aerosols; and
- that federal and state governments play a greater role in accelerating the retirement or retrofitting of older, dirtier diesel engines and the introduction of cleaner diesel replacements.
Federal and California regulators “have taken major strides over the past few years to make on-road and off-road vehicles and equipment cleaner and more fuel-efficient,” Kubsh said. “However, there is growing concern in the public health community about the contribution of UFPs to the overall health impacts of PM. As this report shows, DPFs are capable of reducing both UFPs and total PM by well over 90%.
“In fact, DPFs are the only emission control technology currently able to consistently demonstrate high levels of reduction for all types of diesel PM that concern regulators – PM mass, ultrafine and nano-sized particles, overall particle numbers, and black carbon.”
Contact information is only available to premium subscribers. Click here to purchase a subscription.
Source: MECA with Fleets & Fuels follow-up