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Stephen Johnson, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Re: EPA Action to Control Hazardous Air Pollutants
Dear Administrator Johnson:
I have just been reviewing data on hazardous air pollutants in my local
air, as shown on Environmental Defense's Scorecard website (scorecard.org),
and the health risks posed by diesel emissions are shocking. Based on data
from your own national-scale air toxics assessment (NATA), diesel emissions
by themselves are responsible for over 75% of the cancer risk in outdoor
air attributable to hazardous air pollutants as a whole.
In other words, tighter controls on diesel alone would bring major benefits
in reducing the health risks from hazardous air pollutants. This #1 air
toxics problem deserves immediate and aggressive action.
I strongly urge you to support and implement the controls recommended by
the state and territorial air pollution program administrators (STAPPA) and
the association of local air pollution control officials (ALAPCO),
* securing the more stringent standards for on-road, heavy-duty diesel
engines you have now tentatively accepted, based on current advanced
technology, for implementation in the 2007 model year; specifically,
nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards no less stringent than 0.2 grams per brake-
horsepower (g/bhp-hr), particulate matter (PM) emissions standards no less
stringent than 0.01 g/bhp-hr, and a limit on the sulfur level in diesel
highway fuel of 15 parts per million (ppm) or less;
* adopting equivalently stringent emissions standards for non-road
heavy-duty diesel engines, to be implemented in the same time frame, along
with the ultra-low sulfur non-road diesel fuel that will be necessary to
achieve these limits; and
* effective steps to guarantee that all heavy-duty diesel engines, both
on-road and non-road, operate in practice as cleanly as they are supposed
to in design.
I also urge you to expand your diesel retrofit program dramatically, to
speed up the cleanup of existing, high-polluting diesel engines.
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