EU proposes to cut non-road vehicle emissions

The EU is proposing new legislation to curb pollution from tractors, construction equipment and other non-road machinery, including inland boats and diesel trains.

The European Commission’s proposal to cut emissions from non-road diesel engines aims to reduce the formation of ozone from nitrogen oxide emissions, and the negative health effects of particles. The proposed legislation will ensure all future diesel engines are equipped with particulate filters, and will cover engines used in inland waterway shipping and on railways, to ensure trains and boats continue to develop as environmentally friendly means of transport.

Currently, Directive 97/68/EC contains two stages for introducing emission limits on vehicles. The first has already been implemented and the second will be fully implemented by the end of 2003. A further stage III, proposed by the Commission, will fix limits on NOx gases and particulates from non-road vehicles. Without these limits, which will reduce NOx by 30% and particulates by 90%, emissions from non-road mobile machinery would be as high as those from road transport in 15 years time.

The EU says it is working with Japan and the US to ensure legislation is globally aligned, meaning that a manufacturer can offer the same engine worldwide. The US Environmental Protection Agency is expected to present a similar proposal within the next few months. A technical review will be carried out in 2006 to ensure world-wide alignment is being achieved.

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