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AIR RESOURCES BOARD APPROVES 'SOOTLESS' BUS ENGINE POWERED BY NATURAL GAS

 AIR RESOURCES BOARD APPROVES 'SOOTLESS' BUS ENGINE
 POWERED BY NATURAL GAS
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today an addition to the state's fleet of "sootless" urban bus engines with its approval of a model powered by clean-burning compressed natural gas.
 The engine, model PCE0611FZF4, manufactured by Cummins Engine Co., of Columbus, Ind., joins three other sootless models approved by the ARB that are required for all 1992 new models.
 The largest initial order for the new Cummins engine is for 95 new buses that were recently purchased by the Sacramento Regional Transit Agency to replace some of the agency's outdated diesel-powered buses. That engine also will be used to power new buses in other transit districts, including Yolo, San Diego, Los Angeles and Orange counties.
 The Cummins engine, which uses a catalytic converter to better control its exhaust emissions, is the fourth to be certified by the ARB for mass production and sale in California, however, it is the first transit bus engine to be natural gas-powered.
 In announcing the ARB's approval, Jananne Sharpless, chairwoman, said, "This compressed natural gas engine is the fourth option California transit operators can choose from for new buses that they buy in 1992. We promised Californians soot-free buses six years ago, and it's a promise that we are glad to deliver on.
 "Black soot from buses is the number one complaint that we receive from the public and we are now driving the first miles toward a smoke- free future."
 Soot-free, heavy-duty diesel engines for buses and trucks were demanded by the ARB in 1986 when it adopted the nation's first emission standards for those engines. The standards required engine-makers to reduce the emissions of soot-like particulate by more than 90 percent, compared to typical diesel engines available at the time.
 The board required urban bus engines to meet the strict 90 percent reduction limit three years earlier than engines in long-haul trucks, which must meet the same emission limit in 1994. The ARB accelerated the standards for buses, recognizing that their stop-and-go driving patterns were more soot-forming. Also, because buses are driven in highly populated, congested urban areas, more people are exposed to the pollution, potentially creating a bigger health threat.
 The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required both buses and trucks nationwide to meet the ARB's emission limits by 1994.
 The "sootless" emission rule requires all heavy duty engines used to power new urban buses and long-haul trucks to meet the following emission limits: hydrocarbon (HC) 1.2 grams per horsepower (g/hp), carbon monoxide (CO) 15.5 g/hp, nitrogen oxides (NOx) 5.0 g/hp and Particulates (PM) 0.10 g/hp.
 The Cummins engine emits only one-fifth of the particulate soot allowed by the ARB's standards (0.02 g/hp). Its other emission levels were: HC 0.6 g/hp, CO 0.4 g/hp, NOx 2.0 g/hp, all far below allowable standards.
 In addition to the stringent emission standards required by the ARB rule, engine manufacturers must also show that the vehicles must remain clean running throughout their useful lives. Cummins Engine Co. has certified that the new compressed natural gas engine will be soot-free for up to 290,000 miles. In addition, Cummins has also provided limited warranty coverage of 150,000 miles for their catalytic converter, instead of the usual 100,000 miles, because of that technology's advanced nature.
 Sootless emission standards are only one of three ARB programs to control the emissions from diesel trucks and buses. The ARB also has adopted the nation's cleanest diesel fuel standards that cut sulfur and hydrocarbon content in diesel fuel and will reduce exhaust emissions by about 17 percent from all diesel-powered engines in 1993 when it becomes available.
 In addition, the ARB has begun a roadside inspection program, similar to the smog check tests for passenger cars, which targets the dirtiest trucks on the road and requires them to be repaired to lower their emissions. Over 2,600 trucks and buses have been cited for excessive emissions since the tests began in November 1991, generating more than $1 million in penalties.
 The Cummins Engine Co. also has certified a heavy-duty bus engine that operates on diesel fuel and is equipped with a particulate trap device which captures particulate soot emissions that would normally escape into the air.
 -0- 9/14/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Sessa or Jerry Martin of California Air Resources Board, 916-322-2990/ CO: California Air Resources Board; Cummins Engine Co. ST: California IN: AUT SU:


GT-SC -- SF010 -- 9224 09/14/92 15:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1992
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