The Georgia Diesel Emission Reduction (GaDER) program seeks to broadly reduce emissions associated with the legacy diesel fleet. Diesel engines have been the workhorse for the U.S. economy, and will be relied on for the foreseeable future. Finding economic strategies that minimize air quality impacts of diesel is critical to assuring clean air for current and future generations. Great strides have been made in recent years to reduce emissions from diesel engines. New diesel engines are cleaner than ever. However, the legacy fleet will remain intact for some years to come, which sets the stage for the GaDER program. GaDER was born from EPD’s success with the school bus retrofit program. The school bus program has gained broad support because of the benefit of protecting young lungs while helping to improve regional air quality. As interest grew to more broadly reducing diesel emissions, the (GaDER) program emerged to more appropriately fit the goals of our program. The following are current GaDER initiatives but keep watching... we are not done yet!
Efforts are on the way to convert approximately 35 traditional rail yard locomotives operating in Georgia into low-emission, fuel-efficient locomotives. Addressing locomotive emissions is of particular interest because air quality monitors near rail yards in Georgia measured high levels of pollutants.
To date, EPD has helped retrofit over 3,000 school buses. These efforts are ongoing. The first focus was on installing diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC) and Closed Crankcase Ventilation (CCV) systems on older buses. The second phase involved installing diesel particulate filters (DPFs) on the legacy buses. The current interest is on early bus replacement and alternative fuel buses. Today, new diesel and new alternative fuel buses are exceptionally clean.
Recognizing practical clean diesel solutions and encourage the use of those clean strategies is the focus for trucks. The solution to pollution for legacy trucks has been efficiency improvements and the use of alternative fuels. Motivation can include any combination of economics, sustainability goals, and U.S. energy security. Whatever the driving force, companies and governments are finding success when they look to efficiency and alternative fuels.
Visit often! More initiatives will be highlighted in future GaDER website updates.