AGC wants public funding for low emission machines

20 October 2009

The US Association of General Contractors (AGC) and non-governmental organisation the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) are jointly calling on US Congress and individual states to fund the use of low-emission construction equipment.

The two organisations have put forward a set of ‘Clean Construction Principles', under which federally-funded surface transport projects would have to be built using low-emission machines.

Under the scheme, the winner of a contract would have to outline the type of equipment expected to be used. States would then be responsible for exploring the various Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved options for reducing diesel exhaust emissions. The state would then issue change orders requiring the contractor to pursue the best option, and under such orders, contractors would be able to cover all of their costs.

AGC chief executive Stephen E. Sandherr said, "If the federal transportation programme can connect a continent and unite a people, there's no reason it can't help protect our environment. This approach will reduce emissions without imposing crippling new costs that will hurt construction firms and their workers."

CATF advocacy director Conrad Schneider added, "We are thrilled to be standing side-by-side with the contractors on this. This is a great opportunity to clean up many of the millions of older diesel engines still in use."

According to the AGC, measures to clean up older machines could include ‘retrofitting' - fitting devices to reduce emissions - and ‘repowering' - fitting a new, low emission engine.

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