Reducing diesel emissions from construction

In partnership with the EPA, the construction sector has developed and implemented various approaches to reduce diesel emissions from plant and equipment, which improve air quality for people living and working near construction sites.

Investing in reducing emissions from diesel construction equipment can deliver many benefits – healthier people, more efficient and better maintained equipment, fuel and cost savings, and improved environmental performance overall.

Managing diesel emissions from major infrastructure projects

Sydney Metro - City & Southwest Sustainability Strategy

The Sydney Metro is Australia’s largest public transport project, delivering 31 metro stations and 66 kilometres of new metro rail.

As part of the second stage of the Sydney Metro project, in 2017 Transport for NSW released the Sydney Metro City & Southwest Sustainability Strategy 2017-24. The Strategy sets new benchmarks in the delivery of major infrastructure projects, including to identify and apply new emission standards to diesel equipment and vehicles during construction (Sustainability target, Environmental performance, p. 26).

The Strategy requires that Sydney Metro work with contractors to explore feasible methods of minimising emissions from diesel-fuelled construction equipment (Appendix E – Environmental performance). This involves:

  • contractors reporting on mobile non-road diesel plant and equipment engine conformity with relevant US Environmental Protection Agency, European Union or equivalent emission standards, and the fitting of any exhaust after-treatment devices, and
  • encouraging contractors to identify new emission standards and apply these to diesel equipment and vehicles during construction.

The first stage of Sydney Metro is Sydney Metro Northwest. In 2016, EPA published a best practice case study which highlights strategies by CPB John Holland Dragados to reduce diesel emissions for the Sydney Metro Northwest Tunnels and Station Civil Project.

These initiatives by Transport for NSW implement and build on the non-road diesel requirements of the NSW Government Resource Efficiency Policy.

The Policy requires that, from 1 January 2018, the minimum performance standard for newly manufactured mobile non-road diesel plant and equipment purchased by NSW Government agencies must be US EPA Tier 4 or EU Stage IV compliant.

See Strategies to reduce non-road diesel emissions that can be used on construction projects.


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