Designed to lower emissions from older diesel engines, two California air quality programs were included in a major legislative package signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last week.

“The $2 billion 10-year package included continued funding for two major California clean diesel programs — the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program and AB 923, which supports local air district program to reduce diesel emissions,” said Ezra Finkin, policy director of the Diesel Technology Forum.

First implemented in 1998, the Carl Moyer Memorial Air Quality Standards Attainment Program has replaced or upgraded 48,000 diesel engines — resulting in a reduction of 146,000 tons of ozone forming compounds and 6,000 tons of particulate matter or soot. Assembly Bill 8, signed by Governor Brown, extends funding for the program through 2023.

“Californians breathe cleaner air thanks to efforts that have brought the cleanest diesel and alternative fuel technologies in the world from laboratories to highways and jobsites,” said Finkin. “Emissions from new heavy-duty diesel trucks and buses have been reduced by 99% for nitrogen oxides — a smog precursor — and 98% for particulate emissions.”

According to Finkin, it is important to note the cooperation for the California business community in achieving the clean air improvements under the Carl Moyer Program.

“The success of Moyer is also due to thousands of California businesses – truckers, contractors, farmers and others who took the initiative to upgrade their equipment and invest in cleaner diesel and alternative fuel technology,” Finkin said. “For example, the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles instituted a landmark equipment upgrade and replacement initiative in part using Moyer and other funding.”

“We congratulate Gov. Brown and the bill’s sponsors Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and Sen. Fran Pavley,” said Finkin. “Reauthorization of the program by the California legislature will assure timely and continued progress toward clean air and public health benefits in the coming years.”