The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with $300 million in new competitive grants for national and state programs to support the implementation of verified and certified diesel emission reduction technologies as part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign About half of its allotted federal stimulus money went to state, regional and federal air quality programs, including several in and around ports.
"As stewards of the coastal environment," said Kurt Nagle, American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) president and CEO, "America's seaports are investing millions of dollars a year to control emissions related to cargo and passenger handling operations in and around their facilities. Receiving an EPA grant enhances a port's ability to succeed in that effort while delivering prosperity to the community and region it serves."
About $30 million in awards are going to programs for reducing diesel emissions in and around US seaports. "From imported coffee beans to exported grains that feed the world, nearly everything we use and sell internationally moves through a seaport," said Nagle. "As our ports continue serving as critical transportation hubs for billions of tons of goods annually, ‘green' initiatives, like reducing diesel emissions, will be an increasing priority. We commend EPA for realizing the value that ports bring by including them in these important clean air stimulus grants." Recent grants include:
The Georgia Ports Authority received $164,964 to retrofit approximately 47 cargo handling equipment units, providing sustainable emission reductions for approximately 20-25 years. These retrofitted units, operated on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, will reduce emissions by about 13.7 tons, or 34% over the 15-month grant period.
The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) received a $611,466 grant, which, combined with grants to eight other Houston Ship Channel industries, totals more than $3.47 million in National Clean Diesel Campaign funding. The awards will go toward proposed PHA projects consisting of public/private partnerships with eight port-related entities for replacement or repowering of older diesel equipment/engines with newer cleaner equipment/engines. The repower and replacement projects will be for eligible heavy-duty trucks, cargo-handling equipment and a marine engine system.
The Port of Long Beach Diesel Emissions Reduction Project received $4,008,250 in funding to implement a large-scale diesel emission reduction project involving equipment replacements, engine repowers, and/or engine retrofits for 112 pieces of cargo handling equipment, including rubber-tired gantry cranes and two harbor craft currently in operation at the port.
The City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, also known as Port of Los Angeles, was selected for $1,991,750 in funding to replace, repower and/or retrofit a total of 27 pieces of equipment, including harbor craft, currently in operation at the port. The emission reductions achieved from this project will improve air quality and health in the surrounding areas.
The Maryland Port Administration and Maryland Environmental Service received a $3.5 million award to fund retrofitting, repowering and replacing cargo handling equipment, drayage trucks, locomotives and harbor craft operating at the Port of Baltimore. A separate $387,016 grant that was part of a larger State of Maryland award will go toward retrofitting diesel particulate filters inside diesel-powered dredging equipment owned by the Maryland Port Administration. The port authority said the particulate filters will cut dredge equipment diesel emissions by more than 90 percent.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was awarded three grants totaling nearly $11 million to implement clean air programs at the port. A $7 million grant will help launch a $28 million program to replace pre-1994 trucks serving the port. The EPA grant combined with a $21 million port authority incentive fund will provide funding for truckers serving the port to replace an estimated 636 pre-1994 truck models with newer vehicles, resulting in a reduction of approximately 118 tons of nitrogen oxide (Nox), 14 tons of fine particulate matter, and 1,675 tons of greenhouse gases per year.
Additionally, a $1.8 million North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority grant will allow the port authority to retrofit two diesel switcher locomotive engines with ultra-low emitting locomotive technology. Total project costs are estimated at $3 million with the remaining costs shared by the port authority ($600,000), CSX ($300,000) and Norfolk Southern ($300,000), who have each agreed to retrofit one engine. The program is expected to return emissions reductions of 185.7 tons of NOx, 4.73 tons of fine particulate matter, 14 tons of volatile organic compounds and 1,935 tons of greenhouse gases over five years.
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District was selected for $2 million in funding to retrofit 81 Port of Oakland trucks with diesel particulate filters and replace 22 dirty, old trucks with cleaner, newer ones that operate in and around the Port of Oakland. A diesel particulate filter, when retrofitted to a port truck, is designed to reduce diesel emissions by 85%.
The South Carolina State Ports Authority received a grant of $1,999,900 to support the repowering of 36 cargo handlers with cleaner engines at the Port of Charleston. The grant will also support the partnering with private companies to repower two tugboats and one dredge and installation of diesel multi-filters on 40 local drayage trucks. These efforts will make significant reductions in emissions of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.