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AGC AND EPA IDENTIFY WAYS TO 'GREEN' CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT

April 20, 2007

Washington, D.C.—The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) today released the findings of a joint study with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focused on low-cost ways to reduce air emissions from nonroad construction equipment. The report, released just prior to Earth Day on April 22, examines a variety of equipment operation and maintenance measures, fuel strategies and technologies that companies can employ.

“AGC recognizes that major engine overhauls and repowers are extremely expensive, and some companies are better positioned than others to make such an investment,” said AGC CEO Stephen E. Sandherr. “This report offers all contractors, and particularly the small businesses that dominate the industry, bottom-line information on affordable ways to bring about positive environmental results.”

AGC collaborated with EPA’s Sector Strategies Program and the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) to document the costs and benefits of the strategies and discuss practical implementation issues. The findings suggest that operating practices such as reduced idling, improved preventive maintenance and operator training will produce both business and environmental benefits.

Reducing emissions from the existing “legacy” diesel fleet is an important component of EPA’s Clean Diesel Campaign. EPA presently does not mandate retrofits, but instead encourages contractors to voluntarily clean up their equipment.

“EPA appreciates AGC's many contributions to our Clean Diesel Campaign,” said Peter Truitt, EPA, Construction Industry Point-of-Contact. “In this report, AGC contractors and other experts offer ideas and practical advice for reducing emissions.”

AGC has worked side-by-side with EPA in advancing clean diesel initiatives that improve air quality and protect the business interests of construction contractors. AGC’s efforts include identifying incentives for retrofitting in-use equipment, informing fleet owners of grant opportunities, securing federal funding, and crafting and promoting a federal tax incentive.

“AGC staff worked with us to pull together an information-packed quick read that should help contractors get started,” added Truitt.

The new report follows an April 2006 recommendation by a federal clean air act advisory committee (CAAAC), crafted with AGC, for EPA to investigate emissions benefits from changing operational behavior. AGC continues to serve as co-chair of the construction retrofit workgroup that supports the efforts of the CAAAC.

AGC hopes states will use the findings in this report to develop workable clean air plans that balance industry economic interests with environmental goals. The full report—titled Cleaner Diesels: Low Cost Ways to Reduce Emissions from Construction Equipment—is available on AGC’s environmental Web page under “Hot Topics” at www.agc.org/hottopics.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States. AGC represents more than 32,000 firms, including 7,000 of America’s leading general contractors, and over 11,000 specialty-contracting firms. More than 13,000 service providers and suppliers are associated with AGC through a nationwide network of chapters. Visit the AGC Web site at www.agc.org. AGC members are "Building Your Quality of Life.”

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