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Missouri Department of Natural Resources SmartWay Program

Executive Summary

Reducing diesel emissions from freight transport across the United States and in congested metropolitan areas is one of the most important air quality challenges facing the country today.  The St. Louis Diesel Emission Reduction Pilot Project was a collaborative effort launched by the Missouri DNR Air Pollution Control Program (APCP) and the Grace Hill Clean Air Program (CAP) to test run and evaluate the effectiveness of the EPA's SmartWay program to achieve diesel emission reductions through voluntary measures.  The pilot project recruited five trucking operations to install SmartWay diesel retrofit equipment, adopt idle reduction strategies, and obtain their feedback.  The St. Louis Diesel Retrofit Program website is posted online.1

A St. Louis Diesel Retrofit Workshop was held at the Anheuser-Busch Visitor Center to recruit the five trucking fleets, and inform the wider trucking community about the EPA’s SmartWay program.  Trucking fleet managers were highly interested to hear the environmental and technical information presented by Missouri DNR, Grace Hill, and the EPA-verified diesel equipment manufacturers.  The trucking community is amenable to collaborating on efforts to reduce diesel emissions, if the necessary technical and financial assistance is provided.  Trucking is a most competitive business, with little time and money to spare, so guidance and funding is needed to identify the most appropriate retrofit technologies and cover costs.  Technical assistance to trucking fleets might take a form similar to an energy audit, creating jobs and expanding a new sector of the economy in the process.

Tom Weakley of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) attended the workshop, and subsequently hosted a follow-up workshop at OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Missouri, to further discuss and collaborate on freight transport and air quality issues of mutual concern.  Overall, a wide range of ideas was produced that builds upon the SmartWay program established by the EPA, to achieve further reductions in diesel emissions in concert with improving public health, and the efficiency of freight transport across the central states Blue Skyways region.

While there is some debate about whether short or long haul truck drivers are more at risk from diesel exposure, urban areas are heavily traversed by both types of trucks.  A mix of public and private, large and small, in-town and over-the-road trucking operations was recruited for the pilot project in order to obtain a broad overview of practical experiences with the SmartWay approach.

A number of SmartWay technologies and strategies were identified to be effective in reducing emissions from both in-town and over the road trucks.  Diesel fuel price fluctuations and the economic downturn were decisive factors in the types of diesel retrofit equipment that were selected by the trucking fleet managers.  Fuel-efficient, affordable technologies and strategies are the future of effective diesel emission reduction programs.

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View the Report on the MDNR Website

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