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Particulate Traps for Refuse Collection Truck Exhaust Systems

The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Program (CMAQ) is a federal program that funds projects and programs designed to improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion. Here locally, air pollution emitted by diesel trucks was the concern and a desire to reduce emissions in the Rogue Valley was the goal.

Photo environmental initiative particulate trap

In 2004, the Medford-Ashland Air Quality Advisory Committee was working with Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (ODEQ) on an update to the Medford-Ashland PM10 attainment and maintenance plan. When ODEQ presented the benefits associated with retrofitting private fleet diesel trucks, Rogue was onboard. Through the Rogue Valley Council of Governments (RVCOG), we applied for and were awarded a (CMAQ) grant to complete the project.

This was the first project in the Rogue Basin to focus on reducing diesel particulate emissions and the first private-public partnership to date. The project awarded Cummins Emission Solutions to design specific technology to retrofit diesel powered refuse trucks with California Air Resource Board (CARB) Level II Exhaust After Treatment Technology. The equipment selected had to demonstrate effectiveness in reducing PM (Particulate Matter) by at least 50% when using federal highway diesel fuel.

The challenge? Small particulates from diesel exhaust decrease air quality because they are so small they stay suspended in the air longer and are easily inhaled. By retrofitting our trucks with particulate traps, we were able to cut particulate emissions and reduce diesel truck emissions by 50%, helping to improve overall air quality in the region.

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