EPA Enters Agreement with PANYNJ and Terminal Operators to Cut Pollution
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced agreements last month with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and regional port terminal operators that will reduce air pollution in the port area. Under the agreements, the Port Authority, APM Terminals North America, Maher Terminals, and Port Newark Container Terminals will reduce truck idling at the port of Newark and take other actions to reduce harmful air pollution from diesel exhaust.
The Port Authority’s actions will include providing funding for truck owner-operators to replace their old trucks serving the port with newer, less-polluting trucks, and placing anti-idling signs on port roadways. The Port Authority will provide funding up to $1.5 million for terminal operators who connect their cargo handling equipment to alternative sources of power such as electricity. The Port Authority will also assist the truck operators to create a system to manage truck traffic to further reduce air pollution.
“It is imperative that trucks, especially in heavily congested port areas, reduce idling,” said Judith Enck, EPA’s regional administrator. “The children of Newark suffer from asthma at a rate three times higher than the state average. These agreements should help relieve the burden.”
The terminal operators will provide anti-idling instructions at gate entrances, install anti-idling signs, and undertake a variety of additional driver education efforts to reduce idling. The three major terminal operators also will provide a total of $600,000 to the City of Newark, to be used to pay for green projects, such as vegetative barriers, plantings, and landscaping, in areas that are most impacted by air pollution from port operations.
The Newark metropolitan area has unhealthy air that does not meet air quality standards for smog, noted an EPA statement.