Out with the old: The Fortunate Demise of Dirty Diesel Engines

Diesel exhaust is uniquely toxic—it causes cancer; harms lungs, hearts and brains; and contributes to Alzheimers, birth anomalies, autism, male infertility, and more. Because of these serious health impacts, OEC has been advocating for diesel clean-up for nearly two decades. Although we’ve had small wins here and there, substantial action is needed to protect human health, and we are thrilled that our state legislature has finally taken a big step forward with House Bill 2007.

HB 2007 requires clean-up of old dirty diesel engines in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, where 44% of Oregon’s population lives. Multnomah County residents breathe diesel at levels nearly 8 times higher than the state’s health benchmark; Washington and Clackamas county residents breathe diesel at levels nearly 4 1/2 times higher.

The most effective way to reduce diesel pollution is to switch to engines running on cleaner fuels (electric engines produce no tailpipe air pollution and reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 80%) or to upgrade to new diesel engines (model years 2010 and newer run as much as 95% cleaner when it comes to particulate matter and nitrogen oxide).

HB 2007 will accelerate the move to cleaner fuels or cleaner engines in the Portland metro region. By 2023, medium-duty trucks (e.g., delivery trucks) and heavy-duty trucks (e.g., big rigs) must run on 1997 or newer diesel engines or cleaner fuels or be retrofit to trap pollution. By 2029, medium-duty trucks and public heavy-duty trucks must run on 2010 or newer diesel engines or cleaner fuels or be retrofit, and privately owned heavy-duty trucks must run on a 2007 or newer diesel engine or cleaner fuels or be retrofit. As of 2025, ODOT will no longer title engines older than 2010 for medium-duty trucks and engines older than 2007 for heavy-duty trucks. And, to accelerate clean-up of construction equipment, the bill requires 80% clean equipment on state-funded construction projects costing $20 million or more in the tri-county area as of 2022, and it encourages the display of stickers on construction equipment to show whether the engine meets the latest standards.

HB 2007 targets funds from the Volkswagen settlement to help fleets clean up their diesel engines. Preference will be given to businesses subject to the clean-up; businesses intending to switch to cleaner fuels; and businesses categorized as small, disadvantaged, minority-owned, women-owned, and service-disabled owned. The bill also creates a task force to develop new funding strategies to support businesses across the state in upgrading their fleets.

HB 2007 will make a real difference for vulnerable people (children, the elderly) and vulnerable communities—low-wealth communities and communities of color are two to three times more likely to be exposed to diesel particulate matter.

While HB 2007 is an important win, OEC’s work to protect Oregonians from diesel pollution is far from over. We will watchdog implementation of HB 2007 and advocate for broader protections across Oregon—while residents of the Portland tri-county area are at greatest risk, diesel emissions exceed the state’s health benchmark in 16 additional counties.

Related Posts
Filter by
Post Page
Policy Air Quality Featured Climate Protection OEC News/Updates/Events Media/PR/Statements Transportation Solutions Toxics-Free Environments Toxic Free Priorities
Sort by

Mid-Session Update: Clean Engines, Clean Air

Oregon’s opportunity to reduce toxic diesel pollution is NOW. A $72.9 million settlement with Volkswagen jumpstarts Oregon’s investment in cleaner engine technology, but we also need deadlines to make sure heavy-duty trucks and construction equipment clean up their engines. A couple of weeks ago, legislators weakened the bill, passing on imp
April 28, 2017, 11:04 pm
admin

9

Oregon Legislature Passes Bill To Curb Toxic Diesel Exhaust

Senate Passes Bill to Protect Oregonians from Diesel Pollution
June 30, 2019, 9:06 pm
kristas

0

Oregon House Votes to Curb Diesel Pollution

Old dirty diesel engines may soon be on their way out SALEM — Diesel
June 21, 2019, 10:21 pm
kristas

0

Who cares about diesel pollution?

March 28, 2019, 6:05 pm
jenc

0

HB 2007: Diesel Clean-Up Bill

Passed by the Oregon Legislature on June 30, 2019, HB 2007 is the 2nd strongest diesel legislation in the nation. Diesel pollution is one of Oregon’s greatest toxic air pollution problems, costing us billions in lost lives and health care costs across the state. Years ago, Oregon set a goal of reducing diesel pollution to meet the state’s health benchmark. Today, we are only 2% of the way towards achieving our
February 7, 2019, 7:43 pm
admin

0

New report: Oregon fails on diesel

This month, Oregon’s cross-agency team of experts made it very clear: None of our current efforts to reduce diesel pollution have worked, or will work, to meet our state’s goals for protecting human and environmental health. “Diesel emissions impacts to human health and the environment are not being adequately addressed by the DEQ [Department of Environmental Quality] or through Toxics Reduction Strategy planning.” This matter-of-fact statement, and details about Orego
January 30, 2019, 6:21 pm
jenc

0

Decades of diesel

Oregon’s path to clearing the air of diesel pollution is a long one, but 2019 is the year to get serious about solutions. Check out our timeline for the policies—and missed deadlines—that have led us to this moment of change. 
January 14, 2019, 3:28 pm
jenc

0

TriMet moves to buy electric buses, diesel free by 2040

Today, the TriMet Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution to begin buying electric buses and to be completely diesel-free by 2040. We applaud TriMet for committing to transform its dirty diesel fleet to a modern electric fleet that greatly reduces life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, eliminates air pollution at the tailpipe, and saves the agency money.

0

Your fair share to stop dirty air

In case you missed it: An audit of Oregon’s air quality permitting program finds that lack of funding has weakened the agency’s ability to protect our communities from dirty
January 4, 2018, 10:22 pm
jenc

0


No Replies to "Out with the old: The Fortunate Demise of Dirty Diesel Engines"


    Got something to say?

    Some html is OK