SALEM, Oregon – (Oregon Environmental Council) In a 16-to-11 vote in favor of HB 2007, the Oregon Senate has voted to protect the health of Oregonian from harmful pollution. HB 2007 requires the clean-up of old dirty diesel engines in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, where 44% of the state’s population lives.
Opponents have fought the idea, saying it will put some trucking companies out of business, because they could not afford to make the changes.

When diesel is burned, it emits fine particulate matter, NOx (a smog-forming pollutant) and 44 air toxics, such as benzene and acetaldehyde. This diesel exhaust is uniquely toxic; its human health toll includes cancer, heart disease and heart attacks, asthma attacks, reduced lung growth in children, birth anomalies and autism, male infertility and more. It is estimated to cause up to 460 premature deaths per year in Oregon.

“Eleven years ago Oregon set a goal to reduce diesel pollution so that it would bring cancer risk below one in a million, but efforts to date have reduced less than 2% of the diesel pollution we would need to meet that health standard,” said Chris Hagerbaumer, Deputy Director of Oregon Environmental Council. “We applaud the state representatives and senators who understand that we must fast-track diesel cleanup.”

“HB 2007 will expedite the purchase of new diesel engines that run as much as 95% cleaner, as well as accelerate the transition to cleaner fuels, like electricity, to power engines,” said Morgan Gratz-Weiser, Legislative Director of Oregon Environmental Council. “By setting a deadline for clean-up, the Oregon Legislature has given fleet owners the impetus to move quickly to protect the health of the communities they work in and travel through.”

HB 2007 will start diesel clean-up in the tri-county area (Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties) by requiring:

  • Engine standards for diesel-powered trucks: By 2023 all medium-duty (e.g., delivery vans, garbage trucks) and heavy-duty trucks (e.g., big rigs) will be required to run on a 1997 or newer engine; and by 2029 medium-duty trucks will need to run on a 2010 or newer diesel engines, as well as publicly owned heavy-duty trucks. Trucks can also comply by switching to cleaner fuels or trapping pollution with special filters.
  • Phase-out of resale of old diesel engines: After 2025, there will be no titling of medium-duty trucks running engines older than 2010 and no titling of heavy-duty trucks running engines older than 2007.
  • Clean construction: State-funded construction projects costing $20 million or more in the tri-county area will require 80% clean equipment, and construction equipment owners will be encouraged to display a sticker that shows the emissions profile of the engine.
  • VW settlement funds: Approximately $53 million will assist the trucks and equipment subject to clean-up, prioritizing applications that support cleaner fuels, and grant applicants running minority-owned, women-owned, service-disabled veteran owned businesses, disadvantaged business enterprises, or emerging small businesses.
  • Future success: A task force will develop new funding strategies to support businesses across the entire state in upgrading their fleets.

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