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Frequently Asked Questions

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Diesel Equipment Retrofit

  1. How do I know if my equipment needs to comply with MassDOT diesel retrofit requirements?

    If the non-road piece of construction equipment has a power rating over 50 horsepower, then the equipment is subject to the requirements of MassDOT's revised diesel retrofit specification.

  2. What type of equipment will not require a retrofit device to be installed?

    If the equipment's engine complies with the most current EPA Tier emission limits in effect at the time, or the equipment is designed for on-road use (i.e., can be driven at highway speeds), it will be exempt from having to comply with MassDOT's diesel retrofit specification (see FAQ Nos. 5 & 10). For construction equipment that has two diesel engines (one for driving the equipment over roads and one for running the construction equipment itself), the engine that is used to drive the equipment on the road will not have to have a retrofit device. In addition, large cranes that are used for critical lift activities are also exempt (see No. 12)

  3. Do air compressors have to comply with the revised diesel retrofit specification?

    Yes. If the compressor's diesel engine is greater than 50 horsepower, it must comply with the revised retrofit specification.

  4. What type of retrofit device can I install on my equipment that will comply with the specification?

    Retrofit devices installed on non-road equipment shall consist of either a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) or a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF). DOC's promote the oxidation of unburned particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It converts PM, CO, and VOC into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water. DOC's reduce PM emissions by a minimum of 20%, CO by a minimum of 40%, and VOC by 50%. DPF's operate similar to DOCs, but also contain a filter to trap additional PM. As a result of the filter, DPF's reduce PM emissions by at least 85%. Under the revised specification, contractors have the option to retrofit their equipment with either a DOC or a DPF. DOC's or DPF's must meet at least one of the following:

    • be verified by EPA or the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for use with "non-road engines", or
    • be verified by EPA or CARB for use with "on-road engines," provided that such equipment is operated with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel fuel, or
    • be certified by manufacturers to meet or exceed EPA or CARB emission reduction.
  5. Is new non-road diesel construction equipment required to contain either a DOC or DPF device?

    If a new, non-road piece of construction equipment meets the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) particulate matter (PM) Tier 3 emission standards in effect for non-road diesel engines for its applicable engine power group, then the equipment will not have to be retrofitted with either a DOC or DPF. However, when EPA's Tier 4 emission standards for non-road engines become effective, then the Tier 3 piece of equipment will have to be retrofitted with either a DOC or DPF prior to the end of the contract period.

  6. Is rental equipment required to be retrofitted?

    Diesel equipment greater than 50 horsepower that is rented and 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. However, if the rented equipment is used for more than 30 cumulative days, then the equipment must comply with the revised diesel retrofit specification.

  7. If a piece of equipment is contractor owned and is used on a job site for less than 30 days, will the same 30 day exemption apply?

    No, the 30 day exemption period allowed for rental or leased equipment does do apply to contractor-owned equipment. If you own a non-road piece of equipment and it is greater than 50 horsepower, it must comply with the revised specification.

  8. If a piece of equipment owned by a contractor breaks down and has been retrofitted and a temporary piece of equipment is brought onsite to take its place while it is being repaired, does the temporary piece of equipment have to be retrofitted?

    No, unless the temporary piece of equipment will be onsite for more than 30 cumulative days.

  9. Does subcontractor equipment operating on a job site have to comply with the revised retrofit specification?

    If a subcontractor brings a piece of equipment onsite for less than 30 days, then his/her equipment does not have to comply with the revised retrofit specification. However, if the subcontractor's equipment is used onsite for more than 30 cumulative days over the life of the contract, then it must comply with the revised retrofit specification.

  10. If a piece of construction equipment has a registration plate issued by the Registry of Motor Vehicles, does it have to comply with the revised retrofit specification?

    Yes, unless it is designated mainly for on-road use such as dump trucks or street sweepers.

  11. My machine was retrofitted for complying with MassDOT's original diesel retrofit specification and was issued a green compliance sticker; will it comply with MassDOT's revised retrofit specification?

    If a piece of equipment has an emission control device that was installed between March 1, 2005 and September 2, 2009, a manufacturer performance certificate will be required that shows that the following emission reductions are being provided by the retrofit device:

    Diesel Oxidation Catalysts 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 a certificate cannot be provided, then the equipment will be non-compliant with the revised diesel retrofit specification.

  12. I have a crane that is being used on the job site; does it have to have a retrofit device?

    If the crane is a large crane such as a sky crane, large Link Belt, large Manitowoc, etc. and is to be used for critical lift operations (such as placement of large steel girders), then the crane will be exempt from having a retrofit device. However, written justification must be submitted to MassDOT for approval to exempt the crane from having to install a retrofit device.

  13. What happens if my equipment does not comply with the new retrofit specification?

    If any piece of equipment is found to be in non-compliance with MassDOT's new diesel retrofit specification, you will be issued a Notice of Non-Compliance and will have 15 days to comply with the directions of the notice. If you do not comply with the notice, a daily monetary deficiency deduction will be imposed for each calendar day the deficiency continues. The deduction shall be $2,500 per day for each piece of equipment listed in the notice that was determined to be in non-compliance. In addition to the deficiency deduction, pay estimates will be held and no payments will be made until all equipment is brought into compliance. The deficiency deduction is irrevocable and shall not be reimbursed.

  14. Will the same deficiency deduction be imposed if my equipment does not comply with the MassDOT's old diesel retrofit specification?

    No. However, if any piece of equipment is found to be in non-compliance with MassDOT's original diesel retrofit specification, you will also be issued a Notice of Non-Compliance. If you do not comply with the Notice, pay estimates will be held and no payments will be made until all equipment is brought into compliance.

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