Imagine what it means for people to regularly have to breathe dirty, deleterious and deplorable air. San Joaquin Valley, California residents know all too well.
It was better than a dozen years ago on Dec. 16, 2007 that The Fresno Bee’s comprehensive “Fighting For Air” air-quality report was published. In it, it was brought out that, in all, the Valley suffered:
- 260 hospital admissions
- 325 new cases of chronic bronchitis
- 460 premature deaths among people age 30 and older
- 595 non-fatal heart attacks
- 3,000 lost workdays
- 23,300 asthma attacks
- 188,000 days of school absences
- 3.3 billion dollar annual cost for breathing Valley air
(Source: “Smog more than an eyesore – it’s a wake-up call”)
Understanding this to be the case, it should, therefore, come as little or no surprise that the Valley would be chosen as the place that the cleanest-operating diesel-locomotive fleet would be based.
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Valley Air District) in its Feb. 26, 2020 “District funds world’s cleanest diesel locomotive in Exeter: Four old switchers replaced with new ultra-clean equipment” news release provides further details.
“Officials gathered today [Feb. 26, 2020] to celebrate the retirement and replacement of four Tier 0 locomotive switchers at the headquarters of the San Joaquin Valley Railroad in Exeter [California]. The new engines from Knoxville Locomotive Works, boast being the ‘world’s cleanest diesel locomotive,’ replacing three uncontrolled engines from 1977 and one from 1964.”
Specifically, in terms of emissions reduction, “[t]he project helps protect public health and improve quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley, by collectively reducing a total of 317.46 tons of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx), Particulate Matter (PM) and Reactive Organic Gases (ROG) over the life of the project, with a cost effectiveness of $24,644 per ton,” the Air District further related.
The Valley and its residents need all the help they can get in this regard and this locomotive addition arrived not a moment too soon.
The Valley Air District added: “A grant provided by the Valley Air District totaled approximately $10.67 million in funding from [California] Assembly Bill 134 and California Climate Investments (CCI). CCI is a state-wide initiative that puts cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, with a focus on disadvantaged communities.”
A great and most welcome addition to the San Joaquin Valley and California these clean-diesel locomotives are!
To learn more, see: “District funds world’s cleanest diesel locomotive in Exeter: Four old switchers replaced with new ultra-clean equipment” Feb. 26, 2020 news release here.