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Air Pollution at Ports Can be Reduced Through Variety of Strategies, EPA Finds

Monday, September 26, 2016
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

An Environmental Protection Agency report released Sept. 22 finds that air pollution at all types and sizes of U.S. ports can be reduced significantly through a variety of strategies and cleaner technologies. The report examines current and future trends in emissions from diesel-powered ships, trucks, and other port equipment and explores the emissions reduction potential of strategies like replacing and repowering older, dirtier vehicles and engines and deploying zero emissions technologies.

According to the report, U.S. ports are set to expand significantly as international trade continues to grow and the size of ships coming to ports increases, which will mean more diesel engines at ports emitting carbon dioxide, fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and other pollutants that contribute to health and other problems. EPA regulations are already reducing port-related diesel emissions from trucks, locomotives, cargo handling equipment, and ships, and some port areas are already applying the emissions reduction strategies assessed in the report.

However, the report states that further emissions reductions could be achieved through strategies such as accelerating the replacement of older diesel fleets, making operational improvements to reduce engine idling, and switching to cleaner fuels. The EPA encourages state and local governments, ports and port operators, communities, and other stakeholders to use the report’s findings to inform priorities and decisions about their specific port areas.

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