The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency is making clean diesel technology part of a larger strategy to reduce overall air pollution in and around Seattle. The engine emissions cleanup will involve 50% of government vehicles and 30% of large commercial fleets in the four-county region, including Boeing’s, according to Diesel Technology Forum (DTF), which is helping out in the effort.

DTF said clean diesel technology will reduce particulate matter and other pollutants in the upgraded fleets by 90%, reduce overall particulate emissions in the area by 14 to 25%, virtually eliminate hydrocarbon emissions, and help the region comply with national air quality standards. The voluntary anti-pollution efforts will involve 5,000 existing engines in public and private buses, trucks, refuse haulers, highway maintenance vehicles and other equipment.

“The cornerstone of the upgrades is the use of new ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel that enables the use of exhaust pipe traps to catch remaining soot particles, nitrogen oxides, and other air pollutants such as hydrocarbons,” said Dennis McLerran, executive director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.

The ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel used will initially cost 8-cents per gal more than the regular diesel refinery price. Emissions traps will cost between $4,000 and $7,500 per vehicle. EPA has committed up to $2 million over the next few years to move the project.