Port Emissions Target of Trucking Group and EDF

Port Emissions Target of Trucking Group and EDF

The Coalition for Responsible Trucking (CRT) has teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to develop programs to reduce truck-related air emissions at the nation's ports.

The Clean Trucks Initiative will begin at ports in the Southeast U.S. with the overarching goal of retiring older high-polluting trucks with more efficient, lower emissions models. It is a framework designed to bring various stakeholders to the table in order to successfully implement clean truck programs, including truck drivers, retailers and importers, local communities and port officials.

"Since we use these ports every day, it is essential to retailers like Lowe's that successful clean truck programs are enacted at our nation's ports," said Steve Palmer, Lowe's vice president of transportation, said in a statement. "This initiative has our full support. Replacing high-polluting trucks that transport products from the ports to distribution facilities is another way companies can reduce their supply chain environmental footprint."  

A 2008 study identified ports as large sources of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. for several reasons: they are often located in heavily populated areas, use an abundance of diesel fuel to power both container ships and offloading trucks, and prevailing winds blow pollution onshore. Cancer and asthma rates are significantly higher in port communities, which has prompted calls for ports to clean up their operations.

California ports have led the way in developing plans to reduce air pollution in a state that has a history of smog and air quality issues. A clean truck program at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports, for example, has already taken thousands of dirty rigs off the roads.

Key aspects of the framework bring developed by CRT and EDF include:

•  Conducting an emissions inventory for port-related emissions to identify reduction and air improvement opportunities

•  Setting goals and developing action plans to improve air quality through a collaborative process with stakeholders that ensures truck drivers receive financial support to replace old trucks

•  Identifying additional opportunities for port communities and other stakeholders to reduce air pollution and improve air quality

The CRT is also working on a green certification and rating system for port delivery trucks that is being tested at Southern California ports.