Aftermarket

Oregon Encourages Fleets to Become Cleaner

September 02, 2010

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The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has launched a new recognition program for businesses and organizations that operate diesel fleets primarily in Oregon and burn less fuel, burn cleaner fuels or burn fuel cleaner
The Fleet Forward program was created to recognize fleets for taking steps to reduce exhaust emissions and going beyond what's required in the state of Oregon.
The Fleet Forward program was created to recognize fleets for taking steps to reduce exhaust emissions and going beyond what's required in the state of Oregon.
, said Kathleen Cochrun, coordinator of the Fleet Forward program.

Part of the Oregon Clean Diesel Initiative, the Fleet Forward program is aimed at recognizing fleets for taking steps to reduce exhaust emissions and going beyond what's required in the state of Oregon.

The Goals of Fleet Forward

The program consists of a three-tier recognition system based on the amount of diesel emissions reductions. Some of the perks include website exposure, a certificate, vehicle decals and ongoing promotion.

In addition to combating diesel emissions' health and environmental impacts, the state hopes to address the so-called "legacy fleet," those 11 million existing engines nationwide that will continue to pollute for two decades before they're subject more stringent emissions standards, Cochrun said. Fleet Forward is one more tool to appeal to companies to clean up their fleets, she added.

But the initiative is more than a recognition program, Cochrun said. For example, when fleets join, the criteria used to define "clean diesel" can be used in contractual language when jobs call for clean fleets. This makes it easier for purchasing agents.

Cochrun believes in the future, companies will start requiring fleets to demonstrate they've got a comprehensive program for becoming a cleaner fleet. Fleet Forward is a step in that direction, at least for those who operate in Oregon.

Kick-off Event

Fleet Forward held its kick-off event late last month in downtown Portland.

The event was partly aimed at recognizing the program's early adopters, which stands at 14 members, but Cochrun says she's currently reviewing several other applications. Members include Organically Grown Company, a distributor of organic produce; the City of Eugene; the City of Milwaukie; Gordon Trucking; Catlin Gable School, a private school; One Green World Nursery; TriMet; and seven school districts.

The launch was also geared toward introducing the public to what clean diesel means and dispelling any misconceptions people may have, Cochrun said. In particular, it focused on the fact that you can take advantage of the clean diesel device on newer heavy-duty trucks and retrofit the devices to existing, older vehicles, she said.

To provide that education, Gordon Trucking had a big rig tractor-trailer combination on display at the event. Also on display were a medium-duty diesel hybrid, an anti-idling device, and a cutaway of a diesel particulate filter.

Andy Ginsburg, DEQ air quality division administrator, was on hand to introduce speakers, including Dick Pedersen, DEQ's director and others from the American Lung Association of Oregon, the Oregon Environmental Council, and Organically Grown Company.

While there has historically been a disconnect between the public and diesel rigs, Cochrun believes public demand for green operations is growing and that the public is becoming more aware of diesels. "I think this really fits with that," she said.

This is one reason it's so important for fleets to track their fuel consumption and make fleet management a larger part of their business process. "They need to get this on their radar."

For more information about the Fleet Forward program, go to www.deq.state.or.us/aq/fleet/home.htm.


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