Seaport leaders share a commitment to sustainability, clean energy, and the health of coastal ecosystems. AAPA's Port Opportunities with Energy, Resilience, and Sustainability (POWERS) Program advocates for federal policies to support American energy prowess, pragmatic decarbonization, technology for renewables, and environmental sustainability. The POWERS Program will allow AAPA to focus its advocacy efforts, as energy and environmental issues are poised to play a prominent role in federal policy for years to come. Rather than respond to decisions made by policymakers and other actors in the transportation industry, the POWERS program will help AAPA become a leader in deciding how energy and decarbonization infrastructure is implemented in the years and even decades to come. The five POWERS policy areas are:
Export of American energy,
Domestic alternative maritime fuel use and production,
Enhanced electric infrastructure at ports,
Strengthened energy and coastal resilience at ports, and
Physical and human infrastructure for wind energy.
AAPA-member seaports are working on many projects and initiatives designed to protect the environment, including reducing diesel emissions, sustainable sediment practices and implementing biofiltration systems to reduce pollutants from stormwater runoff. Some of these projects are funded with help from the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants, which is strongly supported by the DERA Coalition. Port mitigation projects to reduce NOx may be eligible for funding through the Volkswagen Clean Air Act settlement.
Energy is also important for the sustainability of seaports. As environmental leaders in the maritime environment, seaports employ alternative fuels, such as electricity, fuel cells, solar power, wind energy and liquid natural gas (LNG). During a man-made or natural emergency, it is important to make restoration of power to a port and resiliency of port operations a high priority.