Saying that “these are definitely not your grandfather's diesel engines,” EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson watched as officials of six leading diesel engine and truck makers held white handkerchiefs over truck exhaust pipes, revved the engines, then displayed the soot-free cloths to a crowd outside EPA headquarters in Washington, DC, last month.

“On June 1… diesel fuel producers across the country will switch their production to clean ultra-low-sulfur-diesel fuel,” he said. “And by mid-October, this new clean diesel fuel will be widely available at truck stops and retail stations across the country. This switch to clean diesel… will cut the harmful emissions that contribute to soot and smog by up to 95%.”

“Diesel engines are cleaner than ever before,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum, which hosted the event. “And in the next few years, the industry will virtually eliminate key emissions once associated with on and off-road diesel equipment.”

Many of the trucks displayed were in service by fleets, having driven thousands of miles during field trials.

Also at the event were representatives and equipment from Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel and Mack Trucks.