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Launched National Diesel Clean-up Campaign

From 2003 to 2012, CATF co-led the National Diesel Clean-up Campaign to reduce harmful air pollution from diesel cars.

Diesel engines churn out a hazardous mix of gaseous and particle pollutants. What’s more, diesel exhaust is emitted at ground level — where we breathe it — by trucks and buses around us in traffic, at school and transit bus stops, and by heavy construction or agricultural equipment. Diesel exhaust contains numerous dangerous compounds, ranging from respiratory irritants to carcinogens including a host of air toxics, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides.

The Diesel Clean-Up Campaign resulted in strong U.S. EPA emissions standards for new diesel engines and passage of the federal Diesel Emissions Reductions Act (DERA), which provided funding to retrofit thousands of diesel engines with diesel particulate filters. The state component of the DERA program became the vessel for deploying the fines resulting from the “Diesel-gate” scandal, now in excess of $2 billion.