Construction Machinery: Articulated Strategy for Reducing Emissions

Following the application of the limitations written into Euro VI for trucks, the construction machinery sector is also preparing for new measures for reducing polluting emissions. The European Commission is getting ready to revise Emissions Directive 97/68EU for such non-road mobile machinery as front loaders, excavators, backhoe loaders and other construction machinery with the aim of drastically reducing fine particles.

The manufacturers representative for the sector, Comamoter, in the Unacoma association under the Confindustria National Manufacturers Federation, is lined up with the European manufacturers association CECE in recalling that the industry has cut particle emissions by 95% since 1998 and agreeing on the reasons for aiming at a further reduction in emission pollution factors.

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Unacoma President Massimo Goldoni declared, "The Italian manufacturers are in agreement on the principles of environmental compatibility behind the work of the European Parliament and Commission and the strategy for the systematic reduction of pollution factors and feel that it would be timely for the new parameters to be subjected to scientific verification which might measure the real benefits for the quality of air. Moreover, we recommend that any future regulation is kept in line with United States legislation to allow the free circulation of machinery in the two big European and American markets."

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The strategy for the reduction of emission pollutants is detailed and worthy of debate in political quarters. Alongside a future Phase V, there are two options for taking action. One is the renewal of the machinery inventory and the other is the introduction of retrofits. The need for a measure for scrapping great quantities of obsolete machinery now operating on worksites has been brought to the attention of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development in connection with the recently formed Work Table set up in the ministry with the participation of Comamoter and construction sector representatives. The matter of introducing retrofits, now being considered by the Ministry for the Environment, is more controversial. "Retrofitting is a palliative which doesn't solve the real problem – that is the obsolescence of the machinery inventory – and even with devices added to these types of machines, they are still noisy, not economical and, especially, are dangerous for the people on the worksite," Goldoni added.