EPA Awards Maryland Environmental Service $1.8 million to Reduce Diesel Emissions at Port of Baltimore
BALTIMORE (Feb. 10, 2022) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency congratulated Maryland Environmental Service (MES) today on their Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant award of $1.8 million to replace diesel powered yard trucks, forklifts, and cargo handling equipment with less polluting equipment, and replace three drayage trucks with electric vehicles at the Port of Baltimore.
The EPA award along with $3.3 million in project partner matching funds will enable MES to replace the equipment with electric vehicles at the Port of Baltimore, which borders the neighboring Turner Station community, a community with environmental justice concerns.
“These cleaner trucks, and heavy equipment help deliver protections for those that need it most, such as the people living and working near ports, ” said EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Adam Ortiz. “Thanks to the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act Grant Program, we are making historic investments into communities that are overburdened by pollution to address legacies of environmental injustice.”
The grant funding will assist MES, on behalf of Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and Maryland Port Administration by replacing diesel trucks and other equipment serving the port with new, cleaner models. These new units will reduce emissions of diesel particulate matter and other pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons – pollutants that contribute to adverse health impacts such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. The beneficiaries of this project are the citizens of Baltimore and especially the Turner Station community.
“Tackling the climate crisis isn’t just necessary to improve our environment and public health – it’s also an opportunity to create jobs and greater prosperity in our state,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. “This latest federal investment in the Port of Baltimore will both strengthen one of Maryland’s major economic engines while promoting cleaner air and advancing environmental justice throughout the region. I will continue fighting in the Senate to bring resources to Maryland to grow our economy, protect our environment, and combat climate change.”
EPA awarded $53 million through the 2021 Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) National Grant program, and an additional $24 million was awarded to 49 states through the State DERA Grant program, for a total of $77 million to reduce diesel pollution in local communities.
“These funds are a big boost for clean air and climate progress and that’s great news for Baltimore communities and Maryland economies,” Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said. “We thank EPA, MPA and all the partners of Maryland’s green port who are advancing the state’s climate and environmental justice goals by investing in our clean energy economy.”
In selecting projects for awards, priority was given to projects that:
Since the start of the DERA program in 2008, EPA has awarded over $1 billion in grants and rebates to modernize the nation’s diesel fleet and speed the turnover to cleaner on- and off-road heavy-duty trucks and equipment.
In addition to DERA, following the passage of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA will be making significant investments in the health, equity, and resilience of American communities. EPA will offer a total of $5 billion between fiscal years 2022 and 2026 to fund the replacement of dirtier school buses with low-or no-carbon school buses.
For more information on DERA national grants: https://www.epa.gov/dera/national-dera-awarded-grants
More information on DERA state grants: https://www.epa.gov/dera/state-allocations