DERA funding “key” to emissions reduction

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program has been “key” to the sustainability of port environmental programmes, AAPA’s president and chief executive officer has said.

Speaking at a hearing before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Kurt Nagle said: “Over the last 10 years, this funding has been key to incentivizing and expanding port environmental programs to improve air quality impacted by port operations.”

DERA has been especially helpful in supporting larger ports’ clean truck programmes, including those at the Port of Baltimore, Massport, New York and New Jersey, Houston, Seattle, and Georgia, he said.

He stressed that these programmes help truckers, who do not have the resources to replace their trucks, buy new cleaner “drayage” trucks that reduce emissions and are more fuel efficient.

Many ports can demonstrate measurable emissions reduction results following funding. For example, Maryland Port Administration has been awarded seven competitive DERA grants for the Port of Baltimore totalling over US$7m, and another US$900,000 through a DERA state award. They have used their grants to exchange 181 port drayage trucks, 110 pieces of cargo handling equipment, four marine diesel engines and six switcher locomotives.

Between 2016-1016, the port was able to reduce emissions by 19% while cargo throughput increased by 10%. Its trucking replacement programme has resulted in a reduction of 2,056t of nitrous oxides; 84t in PM 2.5 particulate matter; 78t in hydro carbons and 524 tons in carbon monoxide.

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