Press Release

BALTIMORE (November 8, 2005) – Front-end loaders operating in Baltimore landfills will be emitting less harmful pollutants, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) announced today. The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for a non-road retrofit project for Baltimore City landfill front-end loaders. The project will reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles and serve as a case study for public and private entities considering retrofit strategies for non-road diesel equipment.

The National Clean Diesel Campaign Demonstration Project is funded by a combined grant from EPA, state and private entities. This grant makes it possible for Baltimore City to retrofit front-end loaders, which work at the City of Baltimore’s landfills with advanced emission reduction devices.

“Reducing exposure to toxic air pollution comes in many varieties,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “Focusing on these non-road vehicles and heavy equipment raises awareness that our efforts are omnipresent. This partnership with EPA and the Johnson Matthey Company is an example of the innovative approaches MDE uses to ensure all Marylanders breathe clean air.”

The federal funding - $50,000 plus $12,500 in matching funds from the Maryland Department of the Environment and $23,800 from Johnson Matthey Company – comes from an EPA program that pays for projects across the country that demonstrate the applicability and feasibility of installing advanced emission reduction technologies in non-road diesel vehicles. The total cost of this project is $86,300. The money will be used to install diesel particulate filters on four to six front-end loaders. Retrofitting these vehicles will result in reductions of 0.9 tons/year of Volatile Organic Compounds, 0.9 tons/year of Particulate Matter and 1.8 tons/year of Carbon Monoxide emissions. This unique program will demonstrate the viability of installing diesel retrofit equipment on non-road vehicles.

“President Bush and EPA are committed to continuing our march toward cleaner, healthier air," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Together we will make the black puff of diesel smoke a thing of the past.”

MDE’s proposal was one of ten selected from many applications, receiving the only award for retrofitting landfill equipment.

“We congratulate the Maryland Department of the Environment for taking a major step in protecting the health of Maryland residents," said Donald S. Welsh, regional administrator for EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. "The use of ultra-low sulfur fuel will go a long way in reducing the amount of particle pollution in Baltimore, one of the most heavily-traveled urban corridors in the mid-Atlantic region.”

The state worked closely with the Johnson Matthey Company, a worldwide technology company that has been working to reduce emissions for over 30 years.

It is expected that the City of Baltimore will begin retrofitting its vehicles in the fall of 2006.