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Houston to Receive EPA Grant for Clean Diesel Project

Release Date: 2/23/2005
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene announced a $150,000 grant today to the Port of Houston Authority (PHA) to reduce air emissions from diesel equipment.  The PHA will retrofit rubber tired gantry cranes and terminal tractors with diesel oxidation catalysts and diesel emulsion to reduce harmful components in their exhaust.

      The project is one of 18 funded as part of EPA's new Clean Diesel Campaign, which seeks to retrofit diesel vehicles with advanced technologies and cleaner fuels to reduce emissions of particulate matter (soot) and other air toxics. Each demonstration project reduces the impacts of pollution on a population that is especially susceptible to the effects of diesel exhaust, including children, the elderly, and the chronically ill.

      "I applaud our region's winner, the Port of Houston Authority, for its leadership in helping to make the black puff of smoke from diesel exhaust a thing of the past," Greene said.  "EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are committed to expanding clean diesel's use as part of our strategy to improve air quality and reduce air toxics. I look forward to sharing the Port's successes with other communities in the nation with similar air quality challenges."

      "The air emissions reduction plan is a stellar example of the Port of Houston Authority's commitment to good environmental stewardship," said PHA Chairman Jim Edmonds. "We are thankful for the EPA's support of our initiatives for cleaner air and look forward to the beneficial continuation of this partnership."

      The PHA participated in an EPA pilot program a few years ago aimed at developing an environmental management system that focuses on air emission reduction as well as water quality improvement and solid waste reduction and recycling.  As a result of the EMS implementation, the PHA's Barbours Cut Container Terminal and Central Maintenance Facility became the first U.S. port facility to achieve ISO 14001 certification.  

      "We continue to review our policies and procedures as new environmental techniques and technologies evolve," Edmonds said.  "We are setting new standards in the maritime industry for balancing environmental stewardship with economic development and community friendliness."

      Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Commissioner R.B. "Ralph" Marquez said, "The EPA's diesel campaign, working in concert with the state's successful Texas Emission Reduction Plan, which also focuses on the replacement of older, inefficient diesel-powered equipment, will have a significant impact on air quality in Texas."

      The EPA Clean Diesel Campaign grants reflect a wide variety of projects, including construction, agriculture and port equipment, waste haulers, locomotives, and fire trucks and ambulances. Communities from across the country are represented.  All grant recipients offered additional funds and/or services toward the project.  

      The Clean Diesel Campaign consists of both regulatory and voluntary efforts to reduce emissions from new diesel engines as well as the 11 million existing diesel engines by 2014.  The campaign contains two components to help ozone or particulate matter nonattainment areas reduce diesel pollution: it develops and implements the most stringent emissions standards for new engines and fuel, and; it promotes voluntary emissions reductions of the existing fleet through retrofits, cleaner fuels, replacement, reduced idling and other pollution-cutting measures.

      EPA received 83 applications requesting $11 million in funding assistance for clean diesel projects.  More information about the campaign is available at  More information about the PHA is available at