The Associated General Contractors of America released the findings of a joint study with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency focused on low-cost ways to reduce air emissions from nonroad construction equipment. The report, titled “Cleaner Diesels: Low Cost Ways to Reduce Emissions from Construction Equipment,” examines a variety of equipment operation and maintenance measures, fuel strategies and technologies that companies can employ.

The AGC collaborated with EPA’s Sector Strategies Program and the Office of Transportation and Air Quality 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.

“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.”

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

The new report follows an April 2006 recommendation by a federal clean air act advisory committee for EPA to investigate emissions benefits from changing operational behavior. The full report is available on AGC’s environmental Web page under “Hot Topics” at