Union leadership at Local 506 of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America in Erie has drafted legislation that would provide financial incentives to railroads that replace older, inefficient locomotives with newer, low-emissions models.
Scott Slawson, president of UE 506 at Wabtec, said Tier 4 emissions locomotives that the company makes now generate dramatically less pollution than previous generations. Yet only a fraction of the locomotives in use meet the most recent emissions standard. Of the roughly 30,000 freight locomotives in service today, more than 7,500 of what the Environmental Protection Agency would call Tier 0 are still in service.
If enacted, the bill also has the potential to create thousands of jobs, including many in Erie, Slawson said.