Union Pacific Reports Progress in Reducing Los Angeles Area Emissions
Los Angeles, Calif., May 23, 2007 Union Pacific today reported a significant milestone in its efforts to reduce air emissions from its operations in the Los Angeles area. Over the last seven years, UP has reduced overall emissions in its Commerce, LATC (northeast Los Angeles) and Mira Loma yards by 28 percent while accommodating unprecedented growth in the volume of goods and materials moved through the yards. The railroad achieved these reductions using a combination of new technology, operational changes and new equipment and working closely with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in a cooperative effort to improve California's air quality.
Union Pacific will further reduce its emissions in the future. Since the 2005 baseline year evaluated in the CARB's health risk assessments for UP's Commerce, LATC and Mira Loma yards, the company has already achieved more than a 17 percent reduction in emissions. By 2010, those same facilities evaluated in the CARB's Health Risk Assessments will achieve a 30 percent reduction in emissions, from 2005 levels. Taken together with projected emission reductions of an additional 25 percent over the next 10 years, UP expects to achieve an overall emissions reduction of approximately 55 percent for the period from 2005 to 2020 at these three yards.
"Union Pacific is committed to improving the environment by reducing diesel emissions," said Bob Grimaila, vice president, environmental and safety for Union Pacific. "Rail transportation is by far the most environmentally friendly method of transporting freight. Over the past several years, we've made significant progress in modifying our operations to reduce emissions. With improved technology and successful test programs, we've been able to reduce emissions significantly. We intend to build upon this progress in maintaining our role as an environmental leader in the transportation industry."
The genesis of these reductions was the Union Pacific's cooperative effort with CARB, beginning with a commitment in 1998 to bring the most advanced and least polluting technology to the South Coast first. This 1998 Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, has already achieved major reductions, and will reduce locomotive NOx emissions in the South Coast by more than 65 percent by 2010.
Beginning in 1999, Union Pacific worked with CARB to prepare the first ever comprehensive health risk assessment of an operating rail yard. The findings of this study were summarized in the Roseville Rail Yard Study (CARB 2004) regarding the J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville. Based on the success of that project and the identification of effective emission reductions measures, CARB brought the two California Class 1 railroads -- Union Pacific and BNSF Railway -- together to sign a memorandum of understanding in 2005.
The 2005 MOU calls for the implementation of beneficial mitigation measures study at other major California yards to further reduce emissions.
"Through our work with CARB, we've been able to analyze our operations to determine the most efficient ways to reduce emissions by focusing on specific areas of our very complex system and yard operations," Grimaila said. "The key to reducing emissions in rail yard operations is to identify the sources of emissions and make changes - through practical and effective technology or operational modifications - to the functions that have the most impact on the community and the environment. We're taking a comprehensive approach to emission reduction that we hope will be the model for the entire rail industry."
Union Pacific has reduced emissions through the following efforts:
- Fleet Turnover, Reducing Emissions - Since January 2000, UP has purchased more than 2,600 new fuel-efficient locomotives that comply with new, stricter USEPA Tier 0, Tier 1 and Tier 2 standards. At the same time, more than 1,700 older units were retired, and another 1,800 locomotives were overhauled (remanufactured) to meet the stricter standards.
- Auto Start-Stop Installations - UP now has more than 3,000 locomotives, or 35 percent of its fleet, with computer-controlled devices that limit engine idling to only the time necessary to ensure safe and reliable operation. Approximately 75 percent of the locomotives permanently assigned to the Southern California area are now equipped with this technology.
- Fuel Efficiency Improvements - Through fleet turnover and other improvements, UP has achieved more than a 12 percent improvement in fuel efficiency since 1995. Lower fuel consumption means fewer emissions.
- Fuel Quality - over 99 percent of all fuel dispensed into locomotives in California is Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which is much cleaner than regular diesel used in many other applications.
Building on this momentum, Union Pacific has used the data from air modeling studies for several of its LA-area rail yards to identify the main sources of emissions and focus efforts to achieve further reductions. These changes include:
- Increasing use of Smart Start technology to reduce locomotive idling
- Modernizing cargo-handling equipment
- Acquiring new transportation refrigeration units
- Reducing waiting time for trucks loading and unloading at rail yards
- Continued purchase of new low-emission line haul and switcher (Genset) locomotives
- Continue to rebuild older locomotives with better performing components
- Aggressively conserving fuel through increased employee training
- Developing and implementing technological and operational changes to streamline yard operations
- Systematically evaluating opportunities for improving performance that result in reducing emissions
Future actions the company will take to reduce emissions include:
- Expanded use of technologically advanced yard locomotives such as Genset or Hybrid locomotives
- Expected reduction of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions by as much as 80-90 percent
- Expected fuel consumption reduction of 16 percent
- By the end of 2007, Union Pacific expects to have more than 60 Genset locomotives operating in Southern California rail yards.
About Union Pacific
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America’s leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For further information, contact Kathryn Blackwell (402) 319-4288 or Mark Davis (402) 203-0964.
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