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Diesel Equipment Retrofit

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Highway Division (MassDOT) has revised its specification for retrofitting non-road, diesel-powered construction equipment operating on MassDOT jobs sites. As of September 2, 2009, the revised specification (attached) is included as part of all MassDOT contracts advertised for bid. The purpose of this informational sheet is to provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ's) pertaining to MassDOT revised diesel retrofit requirements.

Since March 2005, all MassDOT contracts contain specification Section 3.041 entitled "Certification of Construction Equipment Standard Compliance Requirement." The original specification required all contractors operating non-road, diesel-powered construction equipment on MassDOT projects to perform the following:

"...certify that any and all large non-road diesel construction equipment (greater that 50 horsepower) used on this contract have emission control devices installed, such as oxidation catalyst or particulate filters, on the exhaust system side of the diesel combustion engine equipment."

The revised specification provides detailed requirements and information for contractors who will be operating non-road, diesel-powered construction equipment in excess of 50 horsepower on MassDOT job sites. One major change of the revised specification is the requirement that contractor equipment meet one of the following options:

  • Option 1: equipment engines meet the most current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) particulate matter (PM) Tier emission standards in effect for non-road diesel engines for the applicable engine power group, or
  • Option 2: equipment engines contain emission control technology verified by EPA or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for use with "non-road engines," or
  • Option 3: equipment engines contain emission control technology verified by EPA or CARB for use with "on-road engines," provided that such equipment is operated with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, or
  • Option 4: equipment engines contain emission control technology certified by manufacturers to meet or exceed emission reductions provided by either "on-road" or "non-road" emission control technology verified by EPA or CARB.

If contractors have equipment that complies with Option 1, then that equipment will not have to be retrofitted with either an oxidation catalyst or particulate filter. However, if emissions from diesel equipment comply with the most current EPA emission standards for particulate matter in effect at the time, but are superseded by newer Tier emission standards (i.e., Tier 3 emission standards replaced by Tier 4 emission standards), then the superseded diesel equipment will have to be retrofitted prior to the end of the contract with emission control technology per Options 2, 3, or 4.

Several other pertinent changes contained in MassDOT's revised diesel retrofit specification include the following:

  • Rented diesel equipment greater than 50 horsepower that is used on site for 30 days or less over the life of the project will be exempt from having to comply with the revised specification. If used over 30 days, the rented equipment will have to comply with the revised specification.
  • Retrofit devices that were installed under the original retrofit specification can be used to comply with the revised specification if a manufacturer certification is provided that shows the retrofit device meets the following minimum emission reductions:

    For Diesel Oxidation Catalysts For Diesel Particulate Filters
    at least 20% for Particulate Matter at least 85% for Particulate Matter
    at least 40 % for Carbon Monoxide
    at least 50 % for Volatile Organic Compounds
  • If additional or replacement equipment is brought onto the job site after work has commenced, the contractor has 15 calendar days from the time the replacement equipment is brought on site to comply with the new specification.
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