A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says that aid pollution generated by US ports can be reduced significantly to help combat global climate change. EPA states that these reductions can be acheived through a host of different strategies and cleaner technologies.
“The National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports” explores emission trends from diesel engines in port areas, and examines how replacing and repowering older, dirtier vehicles and eingines and deploying zero emissions technologies can significantly reduce harmful gases.
“This report shows that there are many opportunities to reduce harmful pollution at ports that we know will work,” said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality. “This is great news for the roughly 39 million Americans who live and breathe near these centers of commerce.”
U.S. ports are set to expand significantly as international trade continues to grow, and the size of ships coming to ports increases. This growth means more diesel engines at ports emitting carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change. Many ports are located in areas with a high percentage of low-income and minority populations, who bear the burden of higher exposure to diesel emissions.
By ramping up the retirement of older vehicles and equipment will reduce emissions. The report found that replacing older drayage trucks with newer, cleaner diesel trucks can reduce NOx emissions by up to 48 percent, and particulate matter emissions by up to 62 percent, in 2020 when compared to continuing business as usual. In 2030, adding plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to these fleets could yield even more NOx and PM2.5 relative reductions from drayage trucks.
The emissions reduction strategies assessed in the report would make a significant difference in reaching the nation’s air quality goals, and would help reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
To view the report, visit www.epa.gov/ports-initiative/national-port-strategy-assessment.
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