The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award $4.2 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects at six US ports. EPA is also hosting the “Advancing Sustainable Ports” summit to mark the kickoff of a new initiative to recognize ports that take action to improve environmental performance.
The grants awarded today will help six ports improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, by providing $4.2 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to retrofit, replace, or repower diesel engines resulting in immediate emissions reductions in harmful pollution. The grant recipients are the Port of Seattle, the Port of Hueneme, the Port of Tacoma, the Maryland Port Administration, the Virginia Port Authority, and the Port of Los Angeles.
Over the past eight months, EPA has led a national conversation on ports, which brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from community organizations, port authorities, shippers, local governments and academia for three themed webinars to share information, goals, and successes of ports in reducing emissions and improving environmental performance.
Through this process, EPA set the stage for the development of a new port recognition initiative that will provide additional incentives to improve a variety of environmental issues including improving local air quality, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing environmental justice issues. In addition, EPA’s new ports initiative program will work with port authorities to develop emission measurement tools, which will help ports better understand their energy use and environmental impact.
Most of the country’s busiest ports are located in or near large metropolitan areas and, as a result, people in nearby communities can be exposed to high levels of pollution. For example, diesel-powered port equipment can seriously impact air quality for nearby residents and generate substantial greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions.