Business Oriented Air Quality News May/June 1998
Recent developments have focused attention on diesel exhaust:
–A draft Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report identified cancer-causing substances in diesel exhaust; –The California Air Resources Board is in the process of proposing identification of diesel exhaust as a “toxic air contaminant;” –The California Attorney General and several environmental organizations sued four of the state?s largest supermarket chains, Vons, Ralph?s, Lucky Stores, and Stater Bros., claiming that people who live near supermarket distribution centers face an excessive cancer danger from breathing diesel exhaust; –California Governor Pete Wilson proposed a $50-million program to provide grants to help truckers replace high-polluting diesel engines with cleaner engines.
APCD Booster Pump Program Manager Eric Peterson (left) with Brent Rieswig of Betteravia Farms, and one of Betteravia’s new water pumps.
APCD?s booster pump program is designed to reduce emissions by 75% from the diesel engines that power farm-water booster pumps. These pumps are used to boost water pressure for irrigation?they are portable; distributed around the farm acreage as needed. Farmers are given $ 5,000 per engine towards the purchase of new, fuel-efficient, lower-emission diesel pump engines. Approximately 30 incentives have been given to farms; funding remains for approximately 50 more incentives.
APCD project manager Eric Peterson met with Brent Rieswig of Betteravia Farms in Santa Maria, and discussed one of the 12 new water pumps Betteravia purchased with the help of incentives from the APCD Agricultural Booster Pump Repower Program. Peterson estimates the new diesel engines reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), an ozone-forming pollutant, by approximately five tons per engine. Overall, the project will reduce emissions by 400 tons. The emission reductions are particularly valuable, since the pumps are used the most in summer months, the same months that ozone levels are typically higher.”It?s a win-win for the farmer and the county?s air,” said Joe Prandini of Betteravia Farms.
News reports of health effects of diesel exhaust have increased interest in options for reducing emissions from diesel engines. Turbodyne Technologies, Inc., profiled in this newsletter?s January/February issue, received some of this interest with the April 7 announcement of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification of the Turbopac 2500 for use in the Urban Bus Retrofit Program. This program requires bus operators in metropolitan areas (population of more than 700,000) to use an EPA-certified kit when rebuilding bus engines. The Turbopac 2500 is a high-speed compressor that increases intake airflow for large heavy-duty four-stroke and two-stroke engines. By maintaining an optimal fuel-to-air ratio, the 2500 reduces emissions and improves vehicle performance and fuel economy.
Turbodyne has an exclusive agreement to sell its bus retrofit product through Detroit Diesel, one of the world?s largest manufacturers of bus engines, with 540,000 engines in the aftermarket. “We have a backlog of orders for 1,250 of these units through Detroit Diesel,” said Al Christ, Vice President of Engine Technology at Turbodyne?s offices in Carpinteria, “We?re producing these as fast as we can.”
Christ noted that Turbodyne announced in April an agreement with Ralph?s Grocery Company to test the Turbopac product on trucks that are part of the Ralph?s fleet. Turbodyne also announced in April that Turbopac units have been installed for evaluation on transit buses in Paris that are part of the R?ie Autonome des Transport Parisiens (RATP), the largest public transportation company in Europe, with 4,000 buses in service. The Turbopac is already in use in buses and trucks at locations in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil.
In the January On the Air profile of Turbodyne, Chairman and CEO Ed Halimi projected a growth of up to 1,000 new jobs at the Carpinteria location in the next five years if the new product met sales expectations. And is it meeting expectations? Said Christ: “There?s no question that we’ll be expanding and ramping up production.”
Electricity generation is a major source of air emissions, including nitrogen oxides (NOx), an ozone-forming pollutant, sulfur dioxide (SO2), involved in formation of acid rain, and carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases involved in global warming. Electricity generating plants can also emit air toxics, including mercury, arsenic, nickel, and hydrochloric acid.
Consumers in Santa Barbara County today have a choice of electricity providers. By choosing clean power from renewable energy providers, you can make a difference.
For more information on renewable energy providers in California, try the following:
California Energy Commission http://www.energy.ca.gov (click renewables) 1-800-555-7794 Lists registered renewable power providers.
Green-e Program of the Center for Resource Solutionshttp://www.green-e.org 1-888-63GREEN Certifies renewable power providers with a “green-e.”
Choosing Clean Power in California/Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/air/energy/gcleanen.asp 1-213-934-6900 Rates renewable energy providers; uses more stringent environmental criteria than “green-e.”
Clean Power Guide/Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies http://www.cleanpower.org 1-916-442-7785 Questions and answers.
For more general information on renewable energy, try the following:
National Renewable Energy Laboratoryhttp://www.nrel.gov 1-303-275-3000 Information on different types of renewable energy, and ongoing research efforts.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Networkhttp://energy.gov/eere/office-energy-efficiency-renewable-energy 1-800-363-3732 “Ask an Energy Expert” service at its website for questions on renewable energy.