The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA)—the unified and recognized voice of seaports in the Americas—today is mourning the loss of one of Ohio’s most prominent politicians and citizens, George Voinovich, who died in his sleep early Sunday morning just weeks before his 80th birthday.
According to AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle, the former Cleveland mayor, Ohio state representative and Ohio governor who later became one of the most popular U.S. senators of his generation, was instrumental in helping America’s ports enhance air quality in their communities.
“Sen. Voinovich was a unifier who represented the best aspects of a dedicated public servant,” said Mr. Nagle. “Along with Brian Mormino, Sen. Voinovich (R-OH) in 2004 welcomed a small group of loosely affiliated businesses and advocates that wanted to work together to find a way to improve air quality in communities across the U.S. That alliance inspired Sen. Voinovich to help draft what we know today as the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, or DERA, which was co-sponsored by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) and passed the U.S. Senate by 92-1 just days after it was introduced in 2005. That small group then grew into the DERA Coalition, which at times has counted hundreds of entities among its supporters, none the least of which are America’s seaports."
“Since its inception, the innovative DERA program has been of tremendous help to U.S. ports in reducing air emissions in their communities,” Mr. Nagle added.
Included among the initiatives advanced through DERA are clean truck programs, retrofitting or replacing yard equipment, installing shore power for vessels at docks, and retrofitting dredges and tugs. These grants also help fund clean air technologies such as emissions and idle control devices, aerodynamic equipment, engine and vehicle replacements, and alternative fuel options.
About AAPA Founded in 1912, AAPA today represents 130 of the leading seaport authorities in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and more than 200 sustaining and associate members, firms and individuals with an interest in seaports. According to IHS World Trade Service, combined international sea trade moving through Western Hemisphere ports in 2014 totaled 3.48 billion metric tons in volume and US$3.75 trillion in value. Of that total, ports in Central and South America handled 1.68 billion metric tons of cargo valued at US$1.36 trillion, while North American ports handled 1.79 billion metric tons of goods, valued at US$2.39 trillion. To meet the growing demand for trade, the AAPA and its members are committed to keeping seaports navigable, secure and sustainable. For more information, visit www.aapa-ports.org.