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Reducing diesel emissions

We have identified diesel exhaust as the toxic air pollutant most harmful to Washington citizens. It causes or contributes to asthma, heart and lung diseases, and cancer. We help fleet managers find grants, use cleaner fuels, reduce idling, install exhaust retrofit equipment, and replace old engines with newer, cleaner technology.

Port equipment, cranes and lifts with scenic view of the Olympic Mountains in the background.

Port equipment, ships, and large trucks emit large amounts of diesel pollution.

Washington's largest sources of diesel exhaust

Nearly five million people live or work close to transportation corridors where they are exposed to high levels of diesel exhaust. 

Washington's largest sources of diesel exhaust are:

  • Heavy duty trucks
  • Ships
  • Construction equipment
  • Locomotives
  • Farm equipment
  • Buses

How we are reducing diesel emissions

There are many options available to fleet managers to reduce their diesel emissions:

Clean Diesel Grants Engine replacement Exhaust retrofit equipment Reducing idling More protective emissions standards Ultra-low-sulfur-diesel
A man in dirty coveralls is using a drill to retrofit an engine to reduce diesel emissions.

An engine getting retrofitted to reduce emissions.

Health effects of diesel emissions

Diesel exhaust puts healthy people at risk for respiratory disease and worsens the symptoms of people with health problems such as asthma, heart disease, and lung disease. It contains fine particles, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies diesel exhaust as carcinogenic to humans based on evidence that exposure is associated with increased risk for lung cancer. In Washington, 70 percent of the cancer risk from airborne pollutants is from diesel exhaust.