Peoria Journal Star

June 22, 2005

Diesel emissions passes Senate

By Paul M. Krawzak and Dori Meinert
of Copley News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a provision that would create a five-year, $1 billion program to reduce harmful emissions from older diesel engines.

The vote was 92-1 in favor of the proposal, an amendment offered by Sen. George Voinovich, R-Ohio, to an energy bill under debate in the Senate.

Caterpillar and other manufacturers as well as environmental groups support the legislation, which would be used to reduce harmful emissions from older diesel engines in a wide range of public and private vehicles including transit buses, garbage trucks, tractors and construction equipment.

The legislation would have to be adopted by the House to become law. Voinovich said he would "work hard to make it a reality."

Mark MacLeod, policy analyst for Environmental Defense, praised the amendment for taking "major strides toward cleaning up existing diesel pollution, which exposes millions of Americans to harmful exhaust every day."

He added that the legislation "relies on American ingenuity to accelerate the nation's transition to cleaner diesel engines and deliver healthier air to millions of Americans today."

The proposed loan and grant program would help state and local governments comply with clean-air regulations faster.