The Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $9 million in stimulus funds to support the SmartWay Clean Diesel Finance Program in the Houston-Galveston area. The grant will spur innovative clean diesel projects that protect air quality and create and retain jobs through an innovative financing program that will promote the purchase of new, cleaner or retrofitted vehicles and equipment at the Port of Houston.
City docks connect directly to rail at the Port of Houston, which recently authorized a program to distribute nearly $3 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds.
City docks connect directly to rail at the Port of Houston, which recently authorized a program to distribute nearly $3 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds.

Additionally, the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority authorized a program to distribute nearly $2.9 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act funds.

In addition to submitting its own grant application, the port authority submitted grant applications on behalf of local private maritime businesses totaling $14.58 million for projects to replace, repower and retrofit cargo-handling equipment, drayage trucks and marine vessels.

“Recovery Act dollars will help the port better protect air quality and the health of nearby communities,” says Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for air and radiation.

The funds are awarded to programs that support the implementation of verified and certified diesel emission reduction technologies.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council was presented with the $9 million for the Bridge Loan Program to Support Clean Drayage, Shelley Whitworth, air quality program manager for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, told Texas Construction.

“We’re targeting drayage truck operation in the ports in Houston and Galveston,” Whitworth adds.

Whitworth says drayage trucks don’t travel many miles. Many of the trucks are old and can’t go on long trips, but they’re used between ports and warehouses.

“The goal is to establish a revolving loan program that will assist drayage truck owner-operators to purchase and operate cleaner trucks, help the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria region attain the eight-hour ozone standard and reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants,” Whitworth says.