Release 05-14      

June 24, 2005


Jerry Martin
Gennet Paauwe
(916) 322-2990
Agenda Established to Reduce Diesel Emissions from Railyards

-- The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced today that it has established a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Union Pacific Railroad (UP) and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF). This agreement obligates the railroads to significantly reduce diesel emissions in and around rail yards in California.

"The ARB is very pleased that we could work cooperatively to reach this MOU," said ARB Executive Officer, Catherine Witherspoon. "This agreement will allow us to achieve greater emission reductions in a shorter period of time than would have been possible through any other process."

Among the most important elements of the agreement are provisions that will significantly clean up the State's biggest railyards:

Other actions described in the agreement are:

"This agreement represents real progress reached as a result of a progressive partnership between California and BNSF Railway," says Mark Stehly, BNSF's Assistant Vice President, Technical Research, Environment and Development. "We've worked hard with the Air Board to craft a strong program that responds to community concerns about yard operations and reflects our continuing commitment to invest in clean air for California communities."

"Rail is by far the most environmentally friendly method of transporting freight. Over the past several years, Union Pacific has made significant progress in modifying our operations to reduce emissions," said Robert Grimaila, Union Pacific's Vice President of Environmental and Safety. "This agreement with CARB will build upon this progress - including what we've learned in the las  eight months from our aggressive work in Roseville - to maintain our role as an environmental leader in the transportation industry."

"The ARB is very pleased that UP and BNSF have stepped up and agreed to enter this supplemental risk mitigation agreement. It builds on the railroads' previous commitment in 1998 for the South Coast air basin and demonstrates their commitment to environmental protection," continued Ms. Witherspoon. "This mutual agreement will deliver significant near term reductions in locomotive pollution statewide, and lays the groundwork for much greater improvements over the next decade."

For a copy of the MOU and more information click here.


Jerry Martin, ARB (916) 322-2990
Steven Forsberg, BNSF (913) 551-4479 or
Kathryn Blackwell, UP (402) 544-3753 or

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.