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News Releases from Region 01

Massport Awarded More than $330,000 from EPA for Clean Diesel Project at Conley Terminal

Contact Information: 
David Deegan (deegan.dave@epa.gov)

BOSTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding $333,185 to the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) to help retrofit five rubber tired gantry cranes with new diesel engines that will significantly reduce air pollution. The cranes are used to load drayage trucks at the Conley shipping terminal in Boston and reposition containers within the yard.

The funding, made possible under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA), is part of nearly $28 million in grant funds being awarded by EPA nationwide for clean diesel projects in 2015, and is the only project in New England to be selected for DERA funding this year.

The grant will allow Massport to replace five older, Tier III diesel engines with current EPA Tier-4F certified diesel engines. Once completed, the project is expected to reduce annual emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter (PM), and carbon dioxide (CO2) by an estimated 7.62 tons, 0.06 tons and 155.4 tons, respectively. This is estimated to be the equivalent of planting 3,615 trees. The new Tier-4F engines are also more efficient, conserving approximately 2,800 gallons of diesel fuel per unit per year.

The grant will cover up to 25-percent of the labor and equipment costs of each of the engines. Massport will fund the rest of the $1.3 million project.

The EPA and Massport have been working to reduce diesel emissions at Conley and in the South Boston neighborhood for several years. Diesel emissions contribute to respiratory symptoms in the young and infirm. In 2007, Massport and the EPA established a "Clean Truck" program giving owners of older trucks servicing Conley an incentive to replace the vehicles with ones that are 2007 emission compliant or newer. A total of $1.5 million, including a $500,000 EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant provides truck owners with 50 percent of the replacement cost up to $25,000 of older trucks. So far 55 trucks, some up to 25 years old, have been replaced with new models that dramatically reduce lifetime emissions resulting in significant air quality and public health benefits.

"Reducing diesel emissions is a proven and effective way to improve air quality. Investing in Clean Diesel projects here in Boston will protect people's health thanks to improved air quality," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office. "EPA is proud that this project will help reduce diesel emissions at the Conley shipping terminal while ensuring that this vital economic resource continues to bolster Boston's economy."

"Investing in this clean diesel project at the Conley Terminal will have long term health and environmental benefits for the City of Boston and the surrounding area. This important funding will allow improvements to crane engines, which will reduce emissions, conserve fuel, and decrease air pollution promoting a healthier environment for all. I give great credit to Tom Glynn, our Massport Director," said Congressman Stephen Lynch. "As the Port of Boston continues it high shipping volumes and record productivity, it is even more important that we make investments to ensure this key part of the local economy is environmentally friendly."

"One of our priorities at Massport is to be a good neighbor to the communities surrounding our properties, namely Conley Container Terminal," said Massport CEO Thomas P. Glynn. "We have a responsibility to these communities and to the environment and will continue to do all we can today for cleaner air tomorrow. I applaud Massport's partnership with the EPA and Congressmen Lynch in helping us to reduce emissions while supporting a thriving shipping terminal that provides good-paying blue-collar jobs and contributes to the regional economy."

"This project supports the Commonwealth's efforts over many years to reduce harmful diesel emissions in order to improve air quality and protect the public health," said Commissioner Martin Suuberg of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). "The diesel programs implemented by MassDEP and our sister agencies have replaced and retrofitted thousands of diesel engines to date. The replacement of the gantry cranes and their engines at Conley Terminal underscores Massport's commitment to deliver air quality benefits to residents in surrounding communities."

Diesel engines contribute significantly to air pollution, especially in urban areas. The fine particles in diesel exhaust pose serious health risks, including aggravated asthma and other respiratory symptoms. Children are especially vulnerable to these effects. The Northeast has some of the highest asthma rates in the nation, including a childhood asthma rate above 10 percent in all six New England states.

More information on EPA's Clean Diesel program: www.epa.gov/cleandiesel