The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) urged the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) today to reject and further revise the latest version of the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Diesel Health Assessment Document (HAD). Although EMA praised the latest version of the HAD as greatly improved from previous versions, the manufacturers indicated that the current document still has serious scientific flaws. "Significant questions remain about the science used in the report to establish the health risks from ambient exposure to diesel exhaust"," said Glenn Keller, EMA Executive Director. "And we are equally concerned about the data used to justify the claim that diesel exhaust is a likely human carcinogen. The characterizations and conclusions regarding the health risks of exposure to diesel exhaust are not supported by current scientific evidence."

EMA urged CASAC to address three primary conclusions found in the report which are not supported by current science or EPA's own documentation: EPA's claims that current evidence indicates a causal link between diesel exhaust and lung cancer; establishment of a risk estimate for human exposure; and the association between chronic noncancer health effects and exposure to diesel exhaust.

"This report is a critical document attempting to provide a state-of-the-science summary of what is known to date on the potential health effects of everyday ambient exposure to diesel exhaust. The regulations that may result from these recommendations could impact on various segments of our economy that depend on diesel-fueled engines including farming, the construction industry, emergency applications and virtually all freight hauling." said Keller. "It's in everyone's best interest to ensure that this report adheres to the highest standards of scientific validity."

Keller also pointed out that the engine industry is currently investing millions of dollars and countless human resources to develop advanced emissions controls to reduce diesel emissions to near zero levels by 2007. According to Keller, "In this situation there is a very real potential that policy decisions based on unsound scientific conclusions could derail industry's efforts to reduce emissions and achieve cleaner air."

"EMA urges the CASAC panel to request EPA to revise the document to correct errors, omissions and deficiencies and to resubmit the complete report to the panel for another CASAC review. EMA will continue to work with EPA and the scientific community to develop a more complete understanding of the science necessary to address these important health concerns."

EMA is a trade association representing worldwide manufacturers of internal combustion engines for all applications except passenger cars and aircraft. EMA continues to work with government and industry stakeholders to help the nation achieve its goals of cleaner fuels, more efficient engines and cleaner air.