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EU Parliament adopts Stage V emission standards for nonroad mobile machinery engines

8 July 2016

The European Parliament has adopted a regulatory text that is likely to be the final version of the Stage V emission regulations for nonroad mobile machinery (NRMM) engines. While the regulation still must be approved by the EU Council, the adopted measures had already been agreed informally with the Dutch Presidency of the Council. The text was adopted by 623 votes to 57, with 27 abstentions.

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The regulation defines new, Stage V emission limits for diesel and spark-ignited engines used in land-based machinery, such as agricultural and construction equipment, in inland waterway vessels, in rail vehicles and in outdoor powered equipment. The standards will be phased-in beginning from 2019. Arguably the most important change compared to the current Stage IV standards is the addition of a particle number (PN) limit for many categories of nonroad engines, which will force the use of particulate filters.

The adopted text includes several changes and additions compared to the proposal published by the EU Commission in September 2014. These include new provisions for in-service emission monitoring and for retrofitting of existing nonroad engines. Some of the emission limits have been also changed—tightened or relaxed—particularly those for engines used on inland waterway vessels.

The PN emission limit of 1×1012 1/kWh applies to nonroad engines between 19 and 560 kW, to engines above 300 kW used in inland waterway vessels (main and auxiliary), and to all railcar engines. The PN limit has been introduced to force the use of diesel particulate filters (DPF) on the affected engines. Under the current Stage IV and the US Tier 4 standards—that are harmonized to a large degree—some 50 percent of nonroad engine families are certified without a DPF, even though the standards include PM (mass) limits that were designed to force the use of DPF technology.

The adoption of Stage V standards will effectively de-harmonize the EU and US nonroad emission regulations, unless the US EPA develops and adopts new Tier 5 emission standards that would ensure the use of DPFs on nonroad engines. Historically, the EPA has not been in favor of regulating particle number emissions. This, however, may change, as the agency is currently involved in the development of emission standards for commercial aircraft engines (in cooperation with ICAO), that include emission limits for both mass and number of nonvolatile particles.

The adopted text represents the “political” part of the Stage V legislation. The EU Commission should adopt the supplementing legislation by the end of 2016.

Source: European Parliament