Contractors Facing Complicated, Varied Emissions Compliance

By Jeff Griffin, Senior Editor | February 2010 Vol. 65 No. 2

Abbott said he is concerned that the local requirements will cause a rush to make modifications to comply that could be difficult to accommodate and could cause financial hardships to many manufacturers.

Joe Mastanduno, John Deere engine/drive train product marketing manager, said the issues faced by Godwin pumps, other manufacturers and equipment owners are nationwide and are not going to go away.

"Equipment owners and operators are coming to our dealers with questions and to seek solutions," said Mastanduno.

He explained that the EPA samples air emissions in every county in the U.S., including measuring ozone and particulate matter, and if samples exceed specified levels, areas are determined to be in non attainment status and must develop a plan to improve. Many areas along the east coast are in non attainment.

"Usually," he continued, "it's the states that put regulations in place, and they often vary from state to state, making understanding rules difficult. Often large contractors with large equipment fleets can move equipment around in order to comply with regulations, but smaller contractors do not have that advantage. While there are programs to assist small contractors with retrofit costs, inadequate funding greatly limits the number of companies that can receive assistance, and some who cannot comply may be forced out of business."

Tougher regs
Stricter attainment regulations are expected to make compliance even more difficult.

"Current retrofits and repowers primarily assist in lowering levels of ozone and particulate matter (PM)," Mastanduno said. "But in the next five months, the EPA is expected to lower acceptable levels of ozone and PM which will affect compliance by older diesel engines."

Mastanduno said John Deere is taking a proactive approach to emission compliance issues for new engines and retrofitting older engine models.

"We want equipment buyers and users to know that Deere has the right technology right now, and Deere is your advisor on emission issues,” he said.

EMA's Suchecki advises that as states develop plans to meet increasingly stringent ambient air quality standards for particulate matter and ozone, increasing attention will be paid to emissions from existing non road equipment.