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  October 26th, 2016 | Written by

EPA Awards Clean Diesel Grant to Port of Baltimore

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  • EPA grant will be used to upgrade cargo-moving diesel equipment at the Port of Baltimore.
  • EPA grant will pay for replacing diesel engines on forklifts and yard tractors at the port of Baltimore.
  • Baltimore project will install five automatic stop-start anti-idling devices on locomotives at a rail yard.

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency has awarded 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.

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.

“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.”

“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,” said Maryland Transportation Assistant Secretary Charles Glass. “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 by 14.86 tons, carbon monoxide by 88.42 tons, and carbon dioxide by 23,030 tons, and will reduce ozone precursors—oxides of nitrogen by 241.39 tons and hydrocarbons 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.