Skip to content

News Release
FOR RELEASE - July 16, 2009
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

U.S. Ports Included In EPA's Stimulus Grant Awards

With the goal of creating jobs, boosting local economies, reducing diesel fuel emissions and protecting human health, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced awards for about half of its allotted federal stimulus money to state, regional and federal air quality programs, including several in and around seaports.  The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 provided the EPA with $300 million in new competitive grants for the national and state programs to support the implementation of verified and certified diesel emission reduction technologies as part of the National Clean Diesel Campaign.

"As stewards of the coastal environment," said Kurt Nagle, American Association of Port Authorities 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."

Of the EPA stimulus grants announced so far, nearly $32 million in awards are going to programs for reducing diesel emissions in and around U.S. seaports.  Example of recent grant awards include:

Georgia Ports Authority
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.

Port of Houston Authority
The Port of Houston Authority (PHA) got 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.

PHA plans to use a portion of the funding to augment a recently granted Texas Emissions Reduction Plan grant of $110,500 to replace the decades-old engines and generator on the tour boat MV Sam Houston, which gives twice-daily public tours of the Houston Ship Channel. Last year, more than 39,000 people toured the ship channel aboard the MV Sam Houston.  In addition, PHA plans to apply the remaining funds toward replacement of cargo-handling equipment with new, cleaner-burning diesel engines.

Port of Long Beach
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.

Port of Los Angeles
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.

Maryland Port Administration
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.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
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.  In addition, the Port Authority received $2.8 million to support installation of a shore power system at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The Brooklyn facility would be the first on the East Coast to provide shore power for docked vessels, which is expected to reduce emissions from berthed cruise ships by 95.3 tons of NOx, 6.5 tons of fine particulate matter and 1,487 tons of greenhouse gases each 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.

Port of Oakland
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 percent.

South Carolina State Ports Authority
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.

Port of Tacoma
The Port of Tacoma received nearly $1.5 million to reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions by retrofitting two ships and adding electrical plug-ins at the Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE) terminal. TOTE, a private shipping company that serves the Alaska trade, already has spent almost $900,000 to retrofit two of its vessels to accommodate shore power connections, which allow ships to turn off their engines at the terminal. TOTE also has committed to contributing another $283,000 to complete the project. TOTE ships will become the first to plug in at Port of Tacoma berths.

In addition to retrofitting the TOTE ships, the port's EPA stimulus grant will help fund installation of a shore-side connection system and power at the TOTE terminal. This plug-in system will eliminate diesel particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions for ships docked at the terminal and help create or sustain an estimated 50 manufacturing and local installation jobs.

"From imported coffee beans to exported grains that feed the world, nearly everything we use and sell internationally moves through a seaport," said Mr. 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."

# # #