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EPA awards clean diesel grant to Port of Baltimore To improve air quality, fuel efficiency

10/20/2016
Contact Information: 
Roy Seneca (seneca.roy@epa.gov)
215-814-5567

BALTIMORE (October 20, 2016) -- The U.S Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $978,302 Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to the Maryland Environmental Services that will be used to upgrade diesel equipment that is used to move cargo at the Port of Baltimore.  The project will reduce harmful pollutants impacting near-port communities while improving fuel efficiency.

“This funding builds upon the Port of Baltimore’s ongoing efforts to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, and promote sustainability,” said EPA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin.  “By installing clean diesel technology, the Port of Baltimore is doing more than just saving money -- they're creating cleaner, healthier air for their employees and communities nearby.”

The grant will pay for exhaust system upgrades or replacing diesel engines on up to 26 pieces of cargo handling equipment such as forklifts and yard tractors that are used at the port.  The project also will install five automatic stop-start anti-idling devices on locomotives used at a nearby rail yard to move rail cars that come through the port.

“We thank the EPA for this grant to allow us to continue cleaning the air around the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland Transportation Assistant Secretary Charles Glass.  “Through initiatives like our Clean Diesel and Dray Truck Replacement programs, we have been able to remove nearly 9,000 tons of air pollutants around the Port.  When people think about the Port of Baltimore, we want them to think of our business successes and our environmental stewardship.” 

Over the lifespan of the equipment, this project is expected to reduce diesel particulate matter (PM) by 14.86 tons, carbon monoxide (CO) by 88.42 tons, and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 23,030 tons, and will reduce ozone precursors—oxides of nitrogen (NOx) by 241.39 tons and hydrocarbons (HC) by 8.19 tons. It will also save an estimated 143,034 gallons of diesel fuel over its lifetime.

Diesel exhaust contributes to numerous adverse health impacts, including cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses such as asthma.  Numerous studies have linked traffic pollution, which includes diesel exhaust, to long-term health problems for children that grow up near major roadways.

This funding is part of EPA’s DERA fiscal year 2016 allocation which includes engine replacements, idle reduction and retrofit technologies to clean up a variety of older diesel engines.  

EPA has implemented standards that make diesel engines more than 90 percent cleaner than in the past, but many older diesel vehicles and equipment remain in operation and emit large amounts of pollutants such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.  These pollutants are linked to asthma, lung damage and other serious health problems.

For more information on the DERA funding assistance program and other grant opportunities, visit https://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/clean-diesel-national-grants.