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Legal foundations
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Legal foundations:

Work place-area

Occupational medicine began very early to include particulate matter into its consideration (dust accumulation in mining, silicosis, later asbestos) and for this purpose the definition "respirable magnitude" was established by the Johannesburg Convention of 1959 and already in 1936 it was involved with fine particles (Journal "Dust", Issue 1), however it took some time, while they couldn't be measured precisely enough at that time. However, no one took consideration of diesel particles for a long time, even 1990 the Swiss SUVA didn't mention diesel soot in its evaluation of fine particles at all. The impulse from road traffic (first Limit Values for Soot 1961, first Particulate Limit Values USA for cars 1982, for trucks 1988) had then led to the limitation of the so-called Diesel motor emissions of a TGC-value of 0.2 mg/m 3 (underground 0.6 mg/m 3 ) in the amendment of the TRGS Essen 900. Diesel motor emissions were clearly defined in terms of substances as EC + OC, or elementary carbon and organic carbon in bland form. The TGC-value, as it was additionally categorised as a carcinogenic substance, meaning that the concentration levels were not just to be undercut, but dynamically correspond with the according technical conditions. The substance definition is notable, while such a clear regulation and a corresponding measurements assigned (VDI 2564 resp. ZH 1/120.44 [Norms of Professional Associations]) to vehicle motors didn't exist.

To achieve these values, it was prescribed by TRGS 554 (30.4.1993) that such motors, that are used in completely or partly closed working areas and in construction work underground, should be retrofitted with a diesel particulate filter that has a separation rate of at least 70%, oriented by the FEA measurement and the exhibited loading cycle.

This was the relatively rare case, when a regulation is set for imperative use with a particular technology.

The TRGS was amended many times; a new amendment is in the workings right now. In the mean time, the limit value was lowered to 0.1 mg/m 3 and narrowed down to EC. Furthermore, in the current version the separation rate of the particulate filter was raised to 95% in accordance to the VERT specification.

The Swiss SUVA subsequently adopted the TRGS in 1994 meaning diesel soot was categorised as carcinogenic and a limit value of 0.2 mg/m 3 valid in general was established, without explicitly asking for retrofitting with particulate filters. Here also, the limit value drop to 0.1 mg/m 3 came later on.

In 1994, Austria, according to § 98 of the Construction Workers Protection Ordinance, had also published similar regulations, however catalysers were allowed alongside soot filters, which was subsequently fiercely fought by the AUVA (Austrian Social Insurance for Occupational Risks).

The enforcement of TRGS 554 in Germany was carried through particularly with the construction of the high-speed railways, leading to the development of particulate filters. At first, there was an imperative necessity by the fork-lift business. The actions in Germany, Switzerland and Austria lead to the limit values for diesel soot in work places of many other countries were either introduced or intensified and multiple paths were searched for mandatory regulation of particulate filters. In Canada (Project DEEP = Diesel Emission Evaluation Program), South Africa and Australia such activities on their way in subsurface have not yet resulted in mandatory rules.

In conclusion of the VERT-Project, the Swiss SUVA decided on 1.3.2000 on the introduction of the obligatory particulate filter for all vehicles and machines using diesel motors in mining. Respectively, the filter quality applied by SUVA was from the VERT filter list that was developed together with the Swiss BUWAL and had, in principle, a dynamic character. At the same time, the field inspection was carried through with opacity testing at free acceleration.

The USA Agency MSHA (= Mine Safety and Health Agency) was finally the next big organisation that released mandatory regulations on introduction of filters in May 2001 and July 2002. The regulations are different for coal mining and metal mining, in some cases the total emissions (2.5 g/h) and in other the different separations rates are defined ( www.msha.geov ). The MSHA list of the allowed controlling technologies includes around 20 systems, whereby recently all systems that emit increased NO 2 are greatly criticised.

MSHA explicitly accepts all filters in the VERT list.

It is to be expected that the corresponding regulations in other countries will take effect within reasonable time frames, since the occupational medicine defines its limit values as an international standard and also adjusts the provisions.

It shouldn't be forgotten in the discussion of the situation in occupational health that general guidelines reach it. As an example, the Swiss federal law on accident prevention from 20. March 1981 states: "Article 82.1: The employer is obliged to meet with all the sanctions to prevent occupational accidents and occupational diseases, that are necessary based on experience, applicable based on the conditions of technology and measured according to the given rates." Based on verbalisation of this sort, the representatives of employees can always demand such sanctions as filters, as it was done within the framework of the DEEP project.

Law on PFS retrofitting in the area of off-road

Sweden: Environmental Zones

On April 1, 1996 the authorities of Stockholm, Göteborg und Malmö together established the rules of emissions reduction in the environment. The regulations were directed initially at road vehicles. However, it was announced at the same time that starting 1. January 1999, the corresponding rules for off-road vehicles will be issued which will then be implemented. It was demanded that vehicles used in this area either fulfil the newest EURO Emissions class or are retrofitted with catalysers, in particular catalysers + filters.

Initially, two reduction levels were introduced: 20% and 80%, with the reduction of hydrocarbons to 60% at the same time. The requirements were later intensified to a standard 80% particulate reduction and vehicles that were earlier retrofitted with the 20% variant, starting 1999 could not be allowed in the environmental zones any longer.

The documentation for this program explicitly clarify that the cities do not feel connected to the EU guidelines, rather are allowed to issue their own guidelines for their zones.

All systems must be approved by official measurements of the MTC and the vehicles must be individually checked.

In the mean time, within the framework of this project around 8000 particulate filters have been retrofitted, MTC reported on good experiences in practice.

The project keeps expanding: a greater number of Swedish cities had decided to introduce similar sanctions and it seems that now a new concept has been tackled.

In Switzerland, there was also a regulation to provisions for construction machines with the amendment of the Clean Air Act LRV in March 1998, which was verbalised, for reasons of legal formality, in an appendix term "construction site" as follows.

"The emissions from construction sites are particularly limited by the emissions limitations for the machines and devices used, as well as for the applicable sequences of operations, as such are technically and operationally possible and economically sustainable, whereby the type, size and state of construction site, as well as the length of construction work are accountable. The Guidelines issued by the Federal Office." (Section 88, Appendix 2 LRV)

The so-called Construction Guideline Air was then set in power on September 1, 2002. It defined 2 categories of construction sites, A and B, whereby all construction sites that are either big or long-lasting or located in agglomerations fall under the B category. All machines on such sites starting at 18 kW must be retrofitted with particulate filters timely and in the following hierarchy:

•  all Machines > 37 kW starting 1.1.2003

•  all Machines in the category 18 - 37 kW starting 1.9.2005

Other numerous regulations are related to periodical checks, emissions servicing, identification, fuels and many non-motor aspects.

The quality of the filter is tied to the VERT eligibility test, meaning the filter list. With the take over of the findings of the VERT Project in the Construction Guideline Air, as 2 years earlier in the SUVA Particulate obligation, the clear definitions related to particle size and substance were first established and a technical stand demanded for the separation, so that only systems with high filter quality and dependability in use were cultivated. Therewith, it was possible to derive from all other programs, that were in effect at the same time or earlier, clear physically and chemically clean and educated testing procedures that oriented around the health risks of these harmful substances. Above all, the introduction of the quantity criteria and the EC-criteria in place of the previously common PM criteria for filter quality with the shine effect of oxidation catalysers was disqualified.

In the area of off-road in Switzerland, next to the construction machines, there is a second group among the large-sized vehicles, the agricultural tractors. There are great endeavours therefore to impose mandatory particulate filter provision in a similar way onto the agricultural tractors. There is still no concept on what this guideline could look like. Also it is conceivable that it insists by incentives.


In the past, most of the innovation thrusts on emissions reduction of vehicles came out of California and have then been expanded in the entire world.

In 1998, after a 10-year proceeding through scientific bodies and courts, Diesel-PM was classified as a "toxic air contaminant" in California and on a legal basis, regulations on emissions reduction of all diesel motors were pushed. In October 2000 it was accompanied by the so-called "risk reduction plan" of CARB with goals of 75% till 2010 and 85% till 2020 reductions of all diesel-PM emissions and the related cancer risks.

Retrofittable particulate filters are seen as the "best achievable solution ", whereby other solutions are, however, not excluded. There are three levels defined, based on which certification can take place: 30%, 60% und > 85% separation. The provisions concern around 1.2 million diesel motors, whereby off-road motors and on-road motors are basically equal.

Initially, a testing method was developed, the so-called "Verification Procedure" was only finished at the end of 2003.

In the meantime, CARB set the "regulations" for 2 categories, namely the transit buses and the garbage trucks and would present a 3 regulation for TRU (trailer refrigeration unit) for a board decision, shortly. The execution of these regulations is always dependant on whether the corresponding technology is available and is verified. Provided this is not the case, in this situation the corresponding execution dates are constantly postponed.

In respect to the off-road categories, the CARB feels particularly unsure and will set forth regulations in this area at a later time. It's not possible to predict when this might happen - it will depend a great deal from the success of the steps previously taken.

See further information on


Further laws or guidelines in these or other countries have not been decided on till now. It is however known that in other countries they have begun to think about it. In this way, in the middle of 2003 in England, a work group was established that began investigations on account of off-road. There has lately been news from New York that all construction machines set up in the inner city should be retrofitted with filters. Boston had, after the end of the NESCAUM Project (SAE 1999-01-01010) considered corresponding guidelines that could expand to the area of the New England States.

Laws On-road

Since the study deals particularly with the off-road area, the on-road retrofitting sector will only be touched upon here. It is, however, to be expected that the actions on-road will also have the impact on off-road of the corresponding countries.


As the only exception worldwide, there is a state-wide mandatory regulation on decrease of emissions in existing, thus already certified vehicles, in USA called the "O.S.EPA Urban Bus Retrofit/Rebuild Programme". This program satisfies a demand of section 219 (D) the Supplement to the Clean Air Act 1990 and refers to city buses only in cities with more than 150'000 residents (stand 1980).The program demands sanctions for installation or major overhaul of motors made before 1993, whereby there are two possibilities:

•  Reduction of emissions to 0.1 g/bhp-hr

•  If this possibility is not technically available, a reduction of particulate emissions to 25%

All retrofitting systems that come in use must be certified by EPA. The list of such EPA-certified devices contains mainly oxidation catalysers, but also filters, other Turbo-Kids, other camshafts and even other fuel possibilities and additives. The homogeneity is to be derived in part from the not so strict particle definitions.


Independent from the Japanese central government, 4 regional parliaments (Tokyo, Cheba, Tanagava, Saitama) have decided on laws on reduction of diesel emissions starting the beginning of October 2003. Trucks and buses that go through these regions must have either a diesel particulate filter or an oxidation catalyser, depending on the model. The reduction philosophy is interesting: all vehicles should be at the same emissions level, meaning that in old vehicles more effective sanctions are needed than in newer ones.

•  Level 1, beginning October 2003
Goal: Particulate emission < 0.25 g/kWh,
which implies a reduction of 60% for old vehicles (make 1988),
a reduction of 30% for newer vehicles (make 1994), and models made in 1998 are certified accordingly.

•  Level 2:, beginning October 2004
Goal: uniform goal of 0.17 g/kWh
which demands a reduction of 70% in old vehicles and a reduction of 40% in 1998 models.

Altogether, the demands are quite moderate. However, the task of retrofitting particularly the old vehicles with filters, will bring relevant difficulties. While this demand refers to 57'000 vehicles, it will not be possible to exchange all with new models. In the newest models (starting 1999) the given definition of the oxidizer is sufficient.

The total retrofitting program applies itself to 4 cities and altogether 450'000 vehicles - there has even been word of over 600'000 vehicles.


In Copenhagen starting 1.7.2004 all vehicles used in the city must have particulate filters. Already today the vehicles and suppliers with filters preferred.

In addition, it was decided to set up so-called environmental zones in Copenhagen, where all the vehicles must have filters. The first 1500 vehicles that were retrofitted received financial support for the installation in the amount of about 2000 €. This rule applied to vehicles > 3,5 tons.

It is expected that other cities such as Aalborg, Aarhus and Udense will also set up these environmental zones in 2005/6.

Altogether, a market of about 15'000 vehicles are expected to be retrofitted.

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In the city area of Santiago, 4000 buses should be retrofitted with filters. The goal is a reduction of particulate emissions to at least 70%. The mission should start in 2005 and end in 2008. In the catalogue of requirements for the particulate filter systems VERT will be assumed.


The first attempt for 5 years of retrofitting all buses and municipal vehicles got stuck in the East Asian financial crisis. Anyhow, according to the information from the KIMM (Korean Institute of Machinery and Materials) 1400 garbage trucks and 3000 buses should be retrofitted with filters.

In the mean time, an active filter development by many institutions and companies had evidently established itself in Korea.

Further information on:



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