Rail Yard Study

On October 14, 2004, at the Placer County Air Pollution Control District’s (APCD) Board of Directors meeting, the District released findings of a study, the Roseville Rail Yard Study (PDF), conducted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) on airborne particulate matter emissions from diesel-fueled locomotives at the Union Pacific J.R. Davis Yard in Roseville, California. The study was based upon locomotive diesel emissions at the facility and their related health risks from 1999 to 2000.

The District requested the study to:

  • Determine the level of risk to the public from the emissions at the rail yard
  • What that risk meant in comparable terms to other sources of diesel emissions
  • What could be done to reduce the emissions, and thereby reduce the risks

Diesel Particulate Matter

The ARB, in August 1998, had designated diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant.

Diesel engines emit a complex mixture of air pollutants, composed of gaseous and solid material. The visible emissions in diesel exhaust are known as particulate matter (PM) which includes carbon particles or "soot." The Study results indicated high concentrations of diesel PM in an area surrounding the Rail yard. The level of health risk associated with these PM emissions depends on length of exposure and proximity to the yard. 

Meeting Information

  • View October 14, 2004 APCD Board of Directors meeting information.
  • On December 9, 2004 the District’s Board of Directors approved Resolution Number 04-21 authorizing the Chairman and the APCO to sign an Agreement with UPRR (PDF) regarding mitigation measures and air monitoring for the Roseville Rail Yard. The Agreement that was signed has three main components:
    • Grant Program
    • Mitigation Plan
    • Monitoring Project
  • On April 14, 2005, the District’s Board of Directors received a briefing on the mitigation measures that were being evaluated for implementation at the rail yard. The mitigation measures were targeted for implementation over three calendar years (2005, 2006, 2007), and specific to the Agreement in §2A(iv) is the requirement that "progress reports towards achieving the emissions reductions specified in section A (i) shall be presented to the District Board and community by the end of the calendar years 2005, 2006, and 2007." The commitment is for at least a 10% reduction of particulate matter emissions by the end of 2007 from the baseline year (1999 to 2000).
  • On December 8, 2005, the District Board of Directors received a comprehensive review of District involvement with the rail related activities at the Roseville Rail Yard leading up to and including the current status of the various elements of our Agreement for mitigation and air monitoring with Union Pacific. The Board has been updated frequently regarding portions of elements, however this report combines all the information to date into one document.
  • View April 13, 2006 APCD Board of Directors meeting information.
  • Read about the July 13, 2006 California Air Resources Board Statewide Railroad Agreement public meeting.
  • View December 14, 2006 APCD Board of Directors meeting information.
  • Look at the April 5, 2007 ALECS Final Report that was released.
  • Find April 12, 2007 APCD Board of Directors meeting information.
  • October 24, 2007 - The Supplemental Study of Elemental and Organic Aerosols Analysis for Roseville Rail Yard Monitoring Project: This report was prepared as an element of work sponsored by the United States Environmental Protection Agency via grant funding managed by the Placer County Air Pollution Control District. The purpose of this special study is to augment a more comprehensive elemental and organic analysis of aerosol samples collected during the summer of 2005 for locomotive diesel exhaust in Roseville, California. These samples were analyzed for particle sizes, metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), n-alkanes, sugars, and fatty acids. The results show that the particles collected by the samples were in the very fine to ultra-fine size fraction which is similar to diesel truck results presented in the literature. And the samples had higher concentration of PAHs than diesel truck emissions that are the basis of many risk assessments.
  • View August 14, 2008 APCD Board of Directors meeting information.
  • October 9, 2008 APCD Board of Directors meeting information is available.
  • June 4, 2009 Long-Term Trends in Emissions Analysis: This report was prepared to evaluate trends in emission from the rail yard due to implementation of the mitigation measures. The report estimates emissions from the original 1999 to 2000 analysis by ARB through 2008, using similar use of rail yard activity and operating procedures.
  • On August 20, 2009, the District Board of Directors approved a contract with Sierra Research, Inc. to conduct a project which will evaluate computer modeled diesel particulate matter (DPM) levels around the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) - Roseville Rail Yard in comparison to monitored DPM levels. This follow-up research study is based upon the Roseville Rail Yard Air Monitoring Project (RRAMP). The RRAMP was a four-year (2005 to 2008) air monitoring study of the air pollutant impacts emanating from the UPRR Roseville Rail Yard facility. The proposed project results will help to quantify the level of potential bias in the air dispersion model for future modeling analysis and provide useful information regarding the interpretation of data collected in the RRAMP.
  • On December 10, 2009, the District Board of Directors received a comprehensive final report for the Roseville Rail Yard Air Monitoring Project (RRAMP) along with the final updates of the 2004 UPRR/PCAPCD Agreement (Agreement) for mitigation plan, and the grant program with Union Pacific. This report is the culmination of four years of air monitoring and analysis of the data collected from the JR Davis Union Pacific Rail Yard site located in Roseville and the summary of mitigation measures and the grant program. The results of RRAMP confirm that mitigation measures agreed to by UPRR in a 2004 Agreement have been met.
  • On October 13, 2011, the APCD Board were presented with a final report on the evaluation of air dispersion modeling results compared to air monitoring concentration measurements at the JR Davis Union Pacific Rail Yard. The complete report can be found at this link: UPRR Modeling Evaluation Study.