Clean-air plan for San Joaquin Valley first to meet all federal standards for fine particle pollution; $5B in incentive funding required

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has adopted a plan that demonstrates to the US Environmental Protection Agency how the San Joaquin Valley air basin will attain each of four federal standards for fine particulate matter by regulatory deadlines. Meeting standards for fine particle pollution, or PM2.5, is the San... Read more →


Review of studies finds it difficult to reach summary conclusions on ethanol’s emissions effects

A review study commissioned by the Urban Air Initiative—a non-profit organization focused on increasing the use of ethanol in the gasoline supply to replace aromatic compounds in gasoline—has found that measured and modeled effects of ethanol blending on gaseous and particulate emissions have varied widely between studies, to the point... Read more →


Study finds link between sleep apnea and increases in PM2.5, NO2

In a new study published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, researchers from the University of Washington, Harvard University and Columbia University report a link between obstructive sleep apnea and increases in two of the most common air pollutants: fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a... Read more →


Large-scale study finds air pollution increases ER visits for breathing problems; rate depends on age, pollutant and lung disease

As levels of ozone and fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) rise, more patients end up in the ER with breathing problems, according to the largest US study of air pollution and respiratory emergency room visits of patients of all ages. The study was published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American... Read more →


California ARB hosting public workshop to discuss reducing in-use emissions from HD diesel

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) staff will host a public workshop on 11 February to discuss ideas and strategies to reduce in-use emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles operating in the State of California. The objective of the workshop is to solicit stakeholder ideas and comments about potential strategies to... Read more →


NUS study finds correlation between PM2.5 pollution and employee productivity

A study by researchers from the National University of Singapore Department of Economics (NUS Economics) has found a correlation between pollution and productivity of employees. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Alberto Salvo, gathered information from various factories in China and discovered that exposure to air pollution over several weeks... Read more →


FCA US reaches settlements on diesel emissions at estimated cost of $800M

FCA US has reached final settlements on civil, environmental and consumer claims with US federal and state agencies as well as private class actions to resolve differences over diesel emissions requirements. The estimated total cost of settlements is $0.8 billion, in line with financial charge taken for this purpose in... Read more →


Urban planners should plant hedges—or a combination of trees with hedges—rather than just relying on roadside trees if they are most effectively to reduce pollution exposure from cars in near-road environments, according to a new study from the University of Surrey. In a paper published in Atmospheric Environment, researchers from... Read more →


Achates Power brings in Cummins veteran David Crompton as President and CEO

Opposed-piston engine developer Achates Power has appointed Cummins veteran David Crompton as president and CEO. Crompton joins Achates Power after 28 years at Cummins, where he served as President of both the Engine Business and Power Systems business. He has extensive experience in the powertrain industry covering pick-up truck, commercial... Read more →


Harvard/Nanjing study: China’s war on PM2.5 pollution is causing more severe ozone pollution

In early 2013, the Chinese government declared a war on air pollution and began instituting stringent policies to regulate the emissions of PM2.5. Cities restricted the number of cars on the road, coal-fired power plants reduced emissions or were shuttered and replaced with natural gas. Over the course of five... Read more →


A team from the University of California Riverside has investigated the influence of low-, mid-, and high-ethanol fueling—as well as the influence of the aromatic hydrocarbons in the fuel blend—on the regulated and greenhouse gas emissions, the mobile source air toxic pollutants, and the particulate emissions from a current model... Read more →


Columbia team organizes available scientific evidence on the effects of air pollution on children’s health

Researchers at Columbia University, with colleagues at Boston University and Abt Associates, have identified concentration-response (C-R) functions for a number of adverse health outcomes in children associated with air pollutants largely from fossil fuel combustion. A paper on their work is published in journal Environmental Research. The study, led by... Read more →


US electric power sector CO2 emissions have declined 28% since 2005 because of slower electricity demand growth and changes in the mix of fuels used to generate electricity, according to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA calculated that CO2 emissions from the electric power sector totaled 1,744 million metric... Read more →


PM2.5, O3 pollution associated with development of Alzheimer’s disease; new study identifies evolving axonal damage

Exposures to concentrations of PM2.5 and ozone at or above the current standards have been linked to neuroinflammation and high risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). A 2015 study found a 138% risk of increase of AD per increase of 4.34 μg/m3 in PM2.5 suggesting long-term exposure to PM2.5, as well... Read more →


Mercedes-Benz has begun sales of two diesel models of the new GLE SUV which already comply with the coming Euro 6d emissions standard. Delivery of the first vehicles begins in spring of 2019. The OM 656 six-cylinder diesel engine comes with 243 kW (330 hp) and 700 N·m of torque... Read more →


Nine states and DC to design regional approach to cap greenhouse gas emissions from transportation

A coalition of nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia announced their intent to design a new regional low-carbon transportation policy proposal that would cap and reduce carbon emissions from the combustion of transportation fuels, and invest proceeds from the program into low-carbon and more resilient transportation... Read more →


Study finds megacity traffic soot can reach high altitudes and be transported over long distances, contributing to global warming

Soot from road traffic in emerging countries can reach high altitudes, where it can be transported over long distances and thus contributes to global warming, according to the findings of a study performed by an international team of researchers in the Bolivian cities of La Paz (the seat of government),... Read more →


Murine study suggests preconception exposure to PM2.5 can lead to heart trouble in male offspring

A new animal study by a team at the Ohio State University suggests that a parent’s exposure to dirty air before conception may result in cardiac dysfunction in adult male offspring. The open-access paper is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The study used an in vivo... Read more →


ITF: measures to decrease road freight CO2 emissions

A new brief published by the International Transport Forum (ITF)—an intergovernmental organization at the OECD with 59 member countries—identifies proven measures that decrease road freight’s CO2 emissions. Moving goods by road consumes about 50% of all diesel produced; 80% of the global net increase in diesel use since 2000 comes... Read more →


Arc welding generates welding fume that is hazardous for human health. A team from the Far Eastern Federal University in Russia, with other colleagues in Russia and Greece, has focused on the key characteristics, as well as dispersion models, of welding fumes within a work zone. An open-access paper on... Read more →


British Airways challenges UK universities to develop a new generation of sustainable aviation fuel; part of $400M investment from parent

As British Airways looks towards its Centenary next year, the airline, in collaboration with Cranfield University, has challenged academics from across the UK to develop a sustainable alternative fuel which could power a commercial aircraft on a long-haul flight, carrying up to 300 customers with zero net emissions. This marks... Read more →


Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, has set a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this goal, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030, and an acceleration in new innovations and adaption of new technology is required. The maritime industry emitted close to 1000... Read more →


NZ study shows cycle lanes and walkways cut car use, reduce emissions

Researchers in New Zealand have shown that investing in cycle lanes and walkways encourages people to drive less and cuts carbon emissions. The researchers from the University of Otago, Wellington and Victoria University studied the impact of new cycling and walking paths built in New Plymouth and Hastings in 2011.... Read more →


Volkswagen has been testing the newly developed R33 BlueDiesel fuel blend at its in-house filling station in Wolfsburg since January 2018. The fuel, jointly developed by Volkswagen, the Coburg University and other project partners, contains up to 33% renewable components based exclusively on residual and waste materials and enables CO2... Read more →


Study infers causal relationship between breast cancer and high exposure to traffic air pollution

A team at the University of Stirling in the UK has found new evidence of the link between air pollution and cancer as part of a new occupational health study. The team analyzed the case of a woman who developed breast cancer after spending 20 years working as a border... Read more →


California is not on track to meet the greenhouse gas reductions expected under SB 375 for 2020, with emissions from statewide passenger vehicle travel per capita increasing and going in the wrong direction, according to a new report published by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). While overall, California has... Read more →


Progress on increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency is slowing across the European Union, putting at risk the EU’s ability to achieve its energy and emissions reduction targets. Rising energy consumption, particularly in the transport sector, is to blame for the slowdown, according to preliminary data... Read more →


Fossil fuel-driven particulate air pollution cuts global average life expectancy by 1.8 years per person, according to a new pollution index and accompanying report produced by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC). The Air Quality Life Index (AQLI) establishes particulate pollution as the single greatest threat... Read more →


A team at Imperial College London has examined the relative costs of carbon mitigation from a lifecycle perspective for 12 different hydrogen production techniques using fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable sources. An open-access paper on their work is published the RSC journal Energy & Environmental Science. As with all... Read more →


Bath University and SAIC Motor team up to investigate gasoline particulate filter performance

The University of Bath and SAIC Motor UK Technical Centre are collaborating on a project to identify the most efficient conditions for the optimum performance of gasoline particulate filters (GPFs), to help minimize vehicle impact on the environment. The ‘GPF Burn rate and Low Temperature Reactivity’ project will last 14... Read more →


Colorado Air Quality Control Commission approves low emission vehicle standards beginning in 2022 model year

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) approved new low emission vehicle (LEV) standards for new light-duty and medium-duty motor vehicles sold in Colorado beginning in the 2022 model year. (Earlier post.) The new standards are estimated to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 2 million tons annually by 2030.... Read more →


CARB adopts REAL to track GHG and NOx emissions from medium- and heavy-duty vehicles; beefing up OBD

The California Air Resources Board adopted a new emissions tracking program that will help regulators identify vehicles with excess smog-related and greenhouse gas emissions. Real Emissions Assessment Logging (REAL) is part of the amendments to the OBD (On-board Diagnostic) Regulations approved by the Board at Thursday’s hearing. OBD systems mainly... Read more →


London study finds Low Emission Zone has contributed to modest NOx reduction, with little effect on lung health of children

The introduction of the low emission zone (LEZ) in London, UK, has only contributed to modest reductions in exposure to NOx from diesel vehicles, and these improvements appear to have little effect on the lung health of children, according to an open-access observational study published in the journal The Lancet... Read more →


A team at the Clean Combustion Research Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has shown that burning fuel at high pressure can significantly increase the size of the soot particles that are produced. A paper on their work is published in the Proceedings of... Read more →


EPA launches Cleaner Trucks Initiative to update NOx standards for heavy-duty trucks

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the Cleaner Trucks Initiative (CTI) to further decrease NOx emissions from on-highway heavy-duty trucks and engines. The CTI will include a future rulemaking that will update the existing NOx standard which was last set in 2001 while also streamlining compliance and certification... Read more →


European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks; 35% by 2030; 20% of new HDVs to be zero- or low-emissions by 2030

The European Parliament has backed plans for trucks to cut CO2 emissions by 2030. MEPs adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new trucks to reduce the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% by 2025. Manufacturers will also have to... Read more →


New research by George Mason University found that exposure to certain air pollutants is linked to increased emergency department (ED) visits for respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Mason Assistant Professor of Global and Community Health Dr. Jenna Krall led the research with colleagues from Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and... Read more →


Yale study finds that organic aerosols more complicated than previously thought

Yale researchers have found that organic aerosols—a type of air pollution—are much more complicated than previous studies indicated. Using high-powered equipment to analyze air samples, the researchers were able to get a detailed look at the molecular makeup of organic aerosols, which have a significant presence in the atmosphere. The... Read more →


USC study suggests early life exposure to near-road air pollution contributes to increased obesity risk in children

A study lead by a team from the University of Southern California has found that higher exposure to early life near-road air pollution (NRAP) increased the rate of change of childhood body mass index (BMI) and resulted in a higher attained BMI at age 10 years that were independent of... Read more →


EPA requires trucking companies to reduce air pollution near Los Angeles schools as part of emissions violation settlement

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced settlements with two interstate trucking companies which will pay $225,000 in penalties to resolve violations of California’s Truck and Bus Regulation. The companies failed to install particulate filters on some of their heavy-duty diesel trucks and failed to verify that trucks they hired... Read more →


BorgWarner, a leader in clean and efficient solutions for combustion, hybrid and electric vehicles, is supplying its best-in-class EGR system to a major global automaker across different regions of the world. Featured in one of the automaker’s engines, BorgWarner’s solution will reduce NOx emissions for several diesel vehicles, helping them... Read more →


The City of Westminster and operator Veolia have ordered a retrofit of 92 Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCVs) for the upcoming Ultra-low Emission Zone in London. As the first Euro VI RCV fleet retrofit, the combination of Amminex, a Faurecia company (earlier post), and Eminox technology (earlier post) has removed the... Read more →


Report finds says “negative emissions technologies” need to play a large role in mitigating climate change

To achieve goals for climate and economic growth, “negative emissions technologies” (NETs) that remove and sequester carbon dioxide from the air will need to play a significant role in mitigating climate change, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The report—“Negative Emissions Technologies... Read more →


Berkeley Lab researchers launch projects to apply AI to optimize traffic and reduce pollution

Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have launched two research projects to apply artificial intelligence to self-driving cars to smooth traffic, reduce fuel consumption, and improve air quality predictions. In collaboration with UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab scientists are using deep reinforcement learning, a computational... Read more →


Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the European Union rose slightly in 2017, mostly because of the transport sector. Preliminary estimates published in the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) annual trends and projections assessments show a 0.6% emissions increase in 2017 from 2016. This limited increase means that the EU is still... Read more →


International study finds air pollution leads to millions of hospital visits for asthma attacks worldwide

Air pollution—specifically PM2.5, ozone and NO2—could be to blame for up to 33 million emergency asthma attack visits to hospital a year, according to a new open-access study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers aimed to estimate the number of asthma emergency room visits and new onset... Read more →


Swiss study finds that studies on air pollution that ignore impact of noise overestimate effects of pollution on heart attacks

Air pollution and transportation noise are both associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. However, studies on air pollution which do not take into account traffic noise tend to overestimate the long-term effect of air pollution on heart attacks, according to a study conducted by the Swiss Tropical and... Read more →


CARB approves $483M funding plan for clean transportation investments; 94% of funding from cap-and-trade

The California Air Resources Board approved a $483 million plan to fund clean car rebates, zero-emission transit and school buses, clean trucks, and other innovative, clean transportation and mobility pilot projects. The Fiscal Year 2018-19 Funding Plan for Clean Transportation Incentives, largely funded with cap-and-trade proceeds, is part of California’s... Read more →


Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has launched the new SoCalGas Truck Loan Program. The program allows qualified fleet owners the opportunity to try out the latest in heavy-duty natural gas truck technology by test-driving a 12L near-zero truck. This “try before you buy” program provides fleet owners with the opportunity... Read more →


US EPA awards $9.6M in DERA grants to reduce harmful diesel emissions in California

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded $9.6 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grants to public and private partners in California. The funds will be used to retrofit and replace old, polluting diesel vehicles and equipment, including school buses, heavy-duty trucks, tractors and port equipment. The DERA program... Read more →