Port Association CEO Testifies on Clean Diesel Projects

The CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), Kurt Nagle, testified Mar. 13 before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works in support of renewing the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). His testimony details case studies in which DERA funding has been used to replace cargo-handling equipment, locomotives and trucks that service U.S. ports.

In 2014, new emissions standards for diesel engines came into force: “Tier 4 refers to the latest emission milestone established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board applicable to new engines found in off-road equipment including construction, mining and agricultural equipment, marine vessels and workboats, locomotives and stationary engines found in industrial and power generation applications.” –Diesel Technology Forum

Nagle’s testimony called for seaport infrastructure to be included in updates to U.S. infrastructure and urged renewed support for diesel emissions reduction funding:

“Ports are national transportation assets. Seaports are economic engines and vital freight gateways to the global marketplace for American farmers, manufacturers and consumers, and serve as critical infrastructure for the U.S. military. They also support the growing cruise industry. Ports support 23 million American jobs and handle $6 billion in goods per day, resulting in $4.6 trillion of economic activity. Overall, U.S. seaports support 25 percent of the U.S. economy. Additionally, the amount of freight moved in the U.S. is projected to grow 15 percent by 2045, and America’s trade volume is expected to quadruple after 2030.”

Kagle called the DERA program a key component of providing funds for upgrades to various marine and marine support industries that use diesel. He presented case studies of projects funded by the program including clean truck programs at the Port of Baltimore, Massport, New York and New Jersey, Houston, Seattle, and Georgia; the Alabama State Port Authority’s process of replacing locomotives with ones that adhere to Tier IV emissions standards; and the retrofitting of cargo handling equipment by the Ports of Virginia, Georgia, Oakland, Long Beach, Houston and Los Angeles.

The Port of Houston has annually replaced equipment including forklifts, terminal tractors, wheel loaders and onroad drayage trucks since 2009. The Port of Baltimore has used $5 million since 2008 to replace more than 180 dray trucks. An air quality monitoring project at the Port of Long Beach includes data monitoring and reporting, and the Virginia Port Authority uses the funds to provide financial incentives for regional port authorities to participate in drayage truck upgrade programs.

View the full list of grants at EPA: https://www.epa.gov

Watch the archived webcast of Kagle’s testimony: https://www.epw.senate.gov

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