Seattle Program Scraps 100th 'Dirty' Truck

Seattle Program Scraps 100th 'Dirty' Truck

The Scrappage and Retrofits for Air in Puget Sound (ScRAPS) program, which the Port of Seattle and its partners launched four months ago, scrapped its 100th truck last week.

The program started last November with the goal of taking pre-1994 drayage trucks off the road. Scrapping the 100th truck in just four months exceeds expectations. The success is partly due to incentives for truck owners. Through the program, truckers receive $5,000 or the blue book value of their truck, whichever is greater, in return for scrapping their old truck.

ScRAPS grew out of the partnership between the Port of Seattle, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, a regional agency chartered by the state, and Cascade Sierra Solutions, a non-profit organization dedicated to saving fuel and reducing emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines. The three organizations are working toward the goals of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, which aims to lower industrial port emissions.

"This is great news for the region, as these are concrete steps that take high-polluting trucks off the road and replace them with cleaner models," said Tay Yoshitani, Port of Seattle CEO. "This helps insure a higher quality drayage fleet to keep the truckers, and our port, working efficiently and sustainably."

ScRAPS combines a buy-back and scrap program for trucks with pre-1994 engines, truck replacements, and exhaust retrofits using a combination of grant funding sources from Ecology, the Clean Air Agency, Port of Seattle, and CSS. Later this year, funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation via the City of Tacoma will be added to the program to expand its reach.

After scrapping the older vehicle, truckers have the option of taking their buy-back money and purchasing a newer truck with loan assistance from Cascade Sierra Solutions, the partner responsible for implementing the Clean Trucks program, or going to a third party.

"We've seen more than half of these drivers turn around and buy a newer truck. This has had a significant impact in upgrading the drayage fleet, and is great news for clean air efforts around the port," said Kathy Boucher, Seattle Branch Manager of CSS, who is implementing the truck scrappage and retrofit program. The program spent over $450,000 between November and February to take pre-1994-engine trucks off the road. CSS also is reimbursed from the scrap metal off the older trucks, funds that cover their administrative costs.

"We are excited to have reached this milestone so quickly," said Jim Nolan, Interim Executive Director of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. "One hundred of the oldest, most-polluting trucks servicing the Port of Seattle have now been scrapped and replaced with trucks that emit 60 to 80 percent less air pollution, resulting in immediate air quality benefits for communities adjacent to the port. This will remove nearly 1.5 tons of fine particles from the air in and around the port annually."

"We thank the Port of Seattle Commissioners for their leadership and support of this innovative program, which represents an important step toward achieving the goals set forth in the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy," said Nolan. "The Clean Air Agency is proud to have helped the trucking community make progress toward this goal."

Contact Thomas L. Gallagher at tgallagher@joc.com.