(BALTIMORE, MD) - The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) applauded the recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to award a grant of $750,000 for the Port of Baltimore’s Dray Truck Replacement Program, extending the program through March 2016. The current program allows for owners and operators of short-haul dray trucks to purchase newer, cleaner trucks that meet or exceed 2010 EPA emission certified engine standards. Dray trucks are large diesel trucks that are used to haul freight from port facilities to nearby local distribution points. The $750,000 grant was part of $4.2 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants awarded by the EPA to six U.S. ports across the country, including the Port of Baltimore. The grant will help Baltimore replace at least 22 older dray trucks.
“Replacing older trucks that often emit higher levels of emissions with newer vehicles will help employees working at the Port of Baltimore and residents in nearby local communities breathe a little easier,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “This replacement program is part of our comprehensive plan to reduce Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020. Through this award, we are very pleased the EPA recognizes the work we are doing here in Maryland to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Since the Dray Truck Replacement Program began in 2012, 82 older dray trucks have been replaced with cleaner models resulting in annual reductions of approximately 90 tons of nitrogen oxides, 24 tons of carbon monoxide, four tons of particulate matter, and three and a half tons of hydrocarbons.
Trucks applying for the program will be prioritized through a set of criteria, including the age of the truck and the number of trips it takes to and from the Port of Baltimore. Replacement trucks’ engines will be no older than 2010 models. An important aspect of the program is that the old vehicle being replaced must be scrapped, so that it will not remain in service and create pollution.
"We are very pleased that the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the past success of the Port of Baltimore's Dray Truck Replacement Program,” said Louis Campion, president of the Maryland Motor Truck Association. “The EPA's award will continue to make it financially feasible for those owner operators with older model trucks to replace their vehicles with new clean diesel vehicles."
The MPA, which manages the public marine terminals of the Port of Baltimore, has previously been recognized by the EPA for several of its environmental initiatives, including its Dredged Material Management Program, which reuses dredged material in innovative ways like wetland restoration and island recreation; the Clean Diesel Program, which installs cleaner running engines in port equipment like locomotives and harbor craft; and the Schoolyard Greening Program, which replaces pavement at schools with grass and trees.