EDISON, NEW JERSEY – (April 24, 2009) – The New York Shipping Association (NYSA) today announced it received the 2009 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Quality Award for Business on behalf of its members, the highest recognition presented to the public by the EPA.
“NYSA has long represented the best interests of the members of our organization – and by extension, the communities of New York and New Jersey,” said Frank M. McDonough, President of NYSA. “This recognition from EPA, acknowledges the significant environmental initiatives our members have undertaken to reduce their environmental footprint in our region.”
Presented to McDonough by Acting Regional Administrator George Pavlou at an awards ceremony held at EPA Region 2 offices in New York today, the award was given in recognition of NYSA’s members who have made great environmental strides over the past 10 years, and, continue to work voluntarily toward a greener operation. Significant renovations have been made on many terminal facilities; and terminal operators have made enormous investments in new equipment to produce more efficient operations. Much of the newly acquired equipment operates on alternative power and cleaner fuels. Even the buildings now operate on cleaner fuel.
Changes to equipment and terminal operations over a five year period resulted in a 45% reduction of air emissions per ton of cargo. Predictions for the next two years show that by 2010, carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 811.18 tons per year! Some of the initiatives that contribute to this success include the institution of no idling zones in many port areas. Marine Terminal Operators are restricting idling times of diesel powered equipment through the use of automatic shutoff devices and electric plug-in technology; and all yard equipment now operates on ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
Electronic gate systems and extended gate hours when appropriate allow more efficient cargo flow and result in lower emissions. On-port cargo handling vehicles are becoming greener. This includes modernization of the equipment fleet to meet more stringent standards through a planned equipment replacement program.
Diesel engines often contribute to poor air quality, as older engines and dirtier fuels emit high levels of particulates and oxides of nitrogen (NOx), which is a precursor to ozone. In and around ports, equipment operating diesel engines includes cargo-handling equipment, trucks, locomotives, tugboats, ferries, and ships. NYSA has facilitated a discussion group for terminal operators to help them evaluate the use of various environmental initiatives. Alternative energy sources are being tested and new technologies implemented, including electric cranes in lieu of diesel, plug-in locomotives, hybrid and hydraulic equipment and LNG powered equipment.
Interestingly, while some may perceive the port to be a major cause of air pollution, two air quality reports provided to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Starcrest LLC, 2002 and 2004) reflected tremendous improvements in air emissions as a result of terminal redevelopment and equipment replacement. The reports found that port terminal operators and cargo vessels now constitute only one percent of the emissions in the Northern New Jersey air shed.
NYSA recently conducted a carbon footprint assessment to provide a baseline to pinpoint greenhouse gas emissions from the commercial marine vessels operating within the port, port-related equipment and also from fuel burning sources at six commercial marine terminals, five auto marine terminals and associated locomotives which are part of the port. This is an ongoing process, which will help NYSA target future emission reductions.
“There are many challenges ahead, including the current economic slowdown, the rising cost of fuel, and global warming. But the shipping industry is rising to the challenge with innovative technology and clean solutions to our operations. Greener values must be part of all sound environmental policy that we develop. We are comfortable with the environmental stewardship role we play, supporting the resources that support us,” McDonough added. “NYSA and its members will continue to be good citizens of the global community in this port and around the world,” he concluded.
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About New York Shipping Association
New York Shipping Association (NYSA) is the ocean cargo carriers, terminal operators, stevedores, and marine-related businesses that operate the ships, move the cargo, train and employ the laborers, provide and maintain the equipment, that moves $190 Billion in products to and from the largest and richest consumer market in the world. NYSA represents the interests of its members in maximizing the efficiency, cost competitiveness, safety and quality of marine cargo operations in the Port of New York and New Jersey. For more information, please visit www.nysanet.org.
Summary of environmental initiatives initiated by NYSA members
• Switch to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel for yard equipment
• Establish no-idling zones throughout the port
• Conversion to electric power cranes
• Conduct an analysis and measurement of emissions and carbon footprint
• Create Port Support Zone/Freight Logistics Zone program
• Support Portways and Portfields Programs
• Create (with Sen. Menendez) the Liberty Corridor program
• Implemented substantial financial incentives to increase barge and rail utilization
• Participate in alternative-powered equipment testing
• Seek funding of electrified truck parks
• Partner with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to develop an aggressive voluntary air emissions reduction program for the port