The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has gradually been cracking down on diesel engine emissions, one of the nation's most serious causes of air pollution. Recently, agency Administrator Stephen Johnson came to Port Elizabeth to announce a welcome extension of the effort.
The EPA is proposing new standards that will cut diesel pollution from trains and ships by as much as 90 percent over the coming decades. Environmental groups calculate the benefit will be equivalent to taking 750,000 diesel trucks off the roads.
This is excellent news for everyone, especially commuters and those who live near train lines and ports. All new diesel engines will have to meet tougher standards by 2015, with rebuilt engines covered by 2010. ...
The only question is whether the EPA could have demanded a quicker timetable for phasing in its new limits. Because existing diesel engines can last for decades, the full effect of the new rules might not kick in until 2030.
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But the EPA plan is tough enough that diesel engine makers are complaining, a good sign. ...
The above editorial excerpt is from The Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.