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SAE Announces "Countdown To Near Zero" Program
To Support Emission-Control Technologies

Warrendale, PA, Oct. 27, 2004 - The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) will kick off its "Countdown to nearZero" emissions program at its first annual SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exposition, to be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL from October 26-28, 2004. The event will bring together engineers, suppliers and manufacturers in the truck and bus industry and those in off-highway and agricultural machinery manufacturing. Countdown to nearZero is designed to address the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new emissions regulations for heavy duty on- and off-highway diesel engines that are set to be phased in over the next several years.

Through SAE's on-going Countdown to nearZero program activities, the Society will act as a conduit for information and provide opportunities for discussion on emissions technologies. SAE's commercial vehicle event is a forum to explore the technology options that are being developed to meet these regulations.

"Many of the seminars, panel discussions and lectures that we've planned for this conference focus on the tremendous technical challenges of meeting the new emissions regulations," said Herb Kaufman, Director of Commercial Vehicle Business for SAE. "The panel of experts that we have assembled from around the world for the conference include leaders of industry and prominent university researchers, as well as key members of the EPA. They will discuss the emissions regulations and offer insights into the progress made so far. Our panelists will also examine the major technical issues that still need to be resolved, and suggest possible steps for moving emissions technology forward from the research stage to full product implementation."

The emissions regulations proposed by the EPA for heavy duty on-highway (truck and bus) and off-highway (construction, agricultural equipment, etc.) vehicles are significantly different. On-highway regulations call for relatively straightforward emissions requirements for oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particulate material (pm) and hydrocarbon emissions (HC) to be met by 2007 and 2010. Off-highway regulations stipulate a complex grid of three to four "tiers" of requirements, which are to be phased in during a nine-year period, beginning in 2005, with deadlines also varying by engine horsepower. "The off-highway industry will have more time to meet the most stringent requirements and will be able to capitalize on the work done by on-highway manufacturers," Kaufman noted.

During the three-day event, SAE will call attention to the critical nature of the work being done to meet the regulations by naming one of the conference days as Emissions Day. The Emissions Day program includes two DANA Technology Theater presentations that separately address the emissions issues facing the truck and bus and off-highway machinery industries. Also on Emissions Day, there will be a special luncheon meeting featuring guest speaker Jeffrey R. Holmstead, Assistant Administrator for Air & Radiation with the EPA.

Kaufman says, "Emissions Day draws attention to one of the major issues facing the commercial vehicle industry. However, we also plan to bring the topic of emissions center stage during other venues that will take place throughout the conference."

For more information on SAE's Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress and Exhibition, and Countdown to nearZero activities, please call SAE World Headquarters at (724) 776-4841 or visit the SAE Web site at

SAE is a non-profit engineering and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of mobility technology to better serve humanity. Nearly 85,000 engineers and scientists who are SAE members develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles, including automobiles, aircraft, aerospace craft, trucks, buses, marine, rail and transit machinery. This information is disseminated through SAE meetings, books, electronic products and databases, technical papers, standards, reports, and professional development programs.