Houston Truck Fair Focuses on Drayage Loan Program

Houston Truck Fair Focuses on Drayage Loan Program

The Port of Houston on Saturday will co-sponsor a truck fair to inform harbor drayage companies about an incentive program designed to retire old, polluting trucks.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council drayage loan program will provide qualifying applicants loans of $5,000 to as much as $100,000 to retrofit certain models with pollution-reduction equipment or to purchase new, low-emission drayage trucks.

Funding is available through a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and awarded through the federal Environmental Protection Agency's SmartWay program.

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H-GAC, the metropolitan planning organization for the Houston-Galveston area, is sponsoring Saturday's truck fair in partnership with the port authority and the Environmental Defense Fund.

The low-interest loan program will enable eligible truck owners to finance retrofits or to purchase new, low-emission trucks. A revolving loan fund will enable an individual borrower to secure a bridge loan equal to the difference between the actual cost of purchasing a new model qualified truck and incentive grants that the truck owner applies for through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

More than 3,000 drayage trucks are involved in the movement of containers to and from the Port of Houston. Harbor trucking is identified as one of the largest sources of pollution in the port area.

The truck fair will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday at the port authority's executive building parking lot located at 111 East Loop North.

-- Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at bmongelluzzo@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @BillMongelluzzo.