The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and International Truck and Engine Corp. today announced a testing and development partnership to advance the EPA’s clean diesel combustion (CDC) technology for low-emission diesel engines. They said the “commercial viability” of CDC will be determined jointly.

The new technology uses in-cylinder control of NOx emissions to reduce or eliminate the need for after-treatment related to NOx. International is evaluating CDC for use in its product line, starting with its V-6 diesel sized for SUVs and pickup trucks, which is currently being tested at EPA labs.

Through the partnership, both organizations will seek to incorporate environmentally sound technologies in an economical package.

“That black puff of diesel smoke we have come to know will be the thing of the past,” said Mike Leavitt, EPA administrator. “But we have to maintain our economic competitiveness and protect our environment in such a way that does not interfere with this.”

Jack Allen, president of International’s engine group affirmed his belief that CDC will be implemented successfully at the commercial and retail levels.

“This technology provides economic advantages, and benefits public health and safety,” Allen said. “CDC technology will help grow our business.”

International is looking into ways to adapt the technology for heavy-duty vehicles, with a Class-8 offering tentatively scheduled to debut in 2010.