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                                                                                                                    By Curt Bennink

N      on-attainment zones are regions that do not
       conform to mandates in the Clean Air Act
due to excessive levels of one or more regulated pol-
                                                             It’s important to understand what emissions
                                                         requirements specific regions are targeting and
                                                         fit your fleet to those standards. “For example, in
                                                                                                                     “So far, school buses, transit and refuse trucks have
                                                                                                                     had the greatest demand for retrofits. Going for-
                                                                                                                     ward, the technology can be applied to construction
lutants. Officials governing non-attainment zones        the Northeastern U.S., they are in non-attainment           and agricultural equipment, ports, on-road trucks,
must develop approved strategies to achieve compli-      for particulate matter (PM) and are focused on              locomotives, marine applications and so on.”
ance, which often means tougher diesel emissions         aftertreatment. In Texas, they are focused on NOx              The cost for a DPF can range from $2,000 and
regulations. As these regional restrictions continue     (nitrogen oxide), so they would like to see more            up. “The market for off-road retrofit is complex,”
to spread, consider the impact while there is time to    repowers,” Sears points out. “If a contractor has           says Schroer. “There is significant proliferation
develop a strategy.                                      picked up a job that requires a special machine only        of equipment and engine combinations across all
   “Contractors who want to bid on work in a non-        for a short period, the answer is to rent. It is a great    horsepower ranges and applications. Our strategy is
attainment zone need to know what mandated local         way to get the latest equipment for a short period          to use our Tier IV development experience to bring
regulations or contract requirements their equip-        of time.”                                                   products to the off-road market that will satisfy the
ment must meet,” says Clint Schroer, off-highway             Projects in non-attainment zones have to be             BACT requirement and encompass various after-
communications for Cummins Inc.                          examined with all the alternatives in mind. “The            treatment technologies.”
   Many regions have targeted specific solutions.        most viable long-term solution is the one that                 Two DPF technologies currently exist: pas-
“The impact on equipment owners in non-attain-           allows the contractor to be competitive, and yet            sive PM filters and active PM filters. According to
ment areas — which includes most major metro-            fits with their long-term equipment strategy,”              John Bartz, emissions solutions manager, Volvo
politan regions across the U.S. — is significant and     says Sears. “There is no one solution that fits all.        Construction Equipment, the passive technology
will require that the engines in their equipment be      It will take smart fleet management and combina-            can remove 99.9% of PM without creating addition-
upgraded to comply with local regulations,” states       tions of new, used, rental and retrofit to navigate         al nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions. However, he
Glen Chrusciel, program manager, repower and             the future local emissions requirements.”                   cautions, “While it can cost half the initial purchase
retrofit for John Deere Power Systems. “The four                                                                     price of active filter technology, if a passive filter is
primary ways to achieve compliance are: retrofit-        DPFs prove cost effective                                   misapplied, it will result in unscheduled downtime
ting an existing engine with aftertreatment devices;     but complex                                                 to swap the plugged filter.”
repowering an older piece of equipment with a               “Retrofitting existing equipment with verified              For the passive filter to work, Bartz notes, an
newer engine; purchasing new equipment; or rental        aftertreatment devices is a cost-effective solution,        exhaust temperature profile must be logged in the
                                                            but it’s also a complex process,” says Chrusciel.        application where the machine is running. The
                                                                           “Retrofit programs typically require      duty cycle must be severe enough to generate the
                                                                             retrofit devices to be verified by      required exhaust temperatures for a long enough
                                                                               either the EPA or California Air      period to regenerate. “If the application changes,
                                                                               Resources Board (CARB).”              the system may not work,” he states. This makes it
                                                                                  Most regulations focus on          necessary to buy an additional filter and swap fil-
                                                                              reduction of PM along with NOx.        ters out as they become plugged.
                                                                            According to Chrusciel, “A r
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