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In Indiana and across the country, pollution from diesel engines is a growing concern. The familiar black soot from buses and trucks contaminates our air and dirties our cities. Diesel exhaust is more than just a foul smell or visual nuisance; it is a detriment to public health. Numerous scientific studies have shown that exposure to the pollution from diesel exhaust increases risk for several serious health problems, including respiratory illness and cancer. However, diesel engines are a durable and economical source of power and are important to our economy.
The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) is currently working on a number of projects to reduce harmful tailpipe emissions from diesel-powered vehicles. IDEM is working with school, municipal and public entities, as well as the private sector, to retrofit diesel vehicles with diesel oxidation catalysts, aftermarket auxiliary heaters and auxiliary power units that dramatically reduce harmful tailpipe emissions. In partnership with the School Transportation Association of Indiana, IDEM introduced a voluntary idle reduction program that can be implemented in school systems statewide. IDEM is working to advance cleaner diesel fuel, engine and retrofit technologies so that we can thrive economically while improving air quality through active participation in the Midwest Clean Diesel Initiative (MCDI). Keep in mind, there are many things you can do individually as well!