Joint partnership produces cleaner air in Hawaii

Deborah Jordan
Deborah Jordan
Bob Wilkinson
Bob Wilkinson
Lorne Fleming
Lorne Fleming

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Truck drivers in Hawaii are starting the engines to a greener Hawaii.

Under the hood, a new environmentally friendly engine replaces an old diesel one.

The result is cleaner air.

"The fine particles that come out of diesel exhaust can lodge deep in our lungs and can result in premature mortality, can exacerbate respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and asthma," said Deborah Jordan of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Air Division.

Under the diesel vehicle retrofit program, you will literally breathe easier.

You can clearly see the black emissions produced by a truck that hasn't been retrofitted with a cleaner engine versus one that has.

"If you've ever wondered why there's a black film over your car rather than a white film that's what's there," said Bob Wilkinson of Grace Pacific.

More than 75 State Department of Transportation trucks have the new technology in place; some designed to reduce diesel emissions by up 85 %.

Construction company, Grace pacific, is also doing the same with its vehicles. In the next six months, it plans to have 100 trucks retrofitted with the new eco-friendly technology.

"These engines besides being quieter, burn less fuel, more fuel efficient we get a little more power out of them," said Lorne Fleming of Grace Pacific.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, City, State and private businesses say this is only the beginning to a cleaner and healthier hawaii.

Chevron also provided $800,000 in funding to help kick start this project.