New York/New Jersey port receives $11.6M in clean air grants

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The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey last week received two grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency totaling $9.8 million and another $1.8 million grant from the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority to implement the first pieces of a comprehensive clean air strategy for the port.

A $7 million federal grant will help launch a $28 million program to replace pre-1994 trucks serving the port. The EPA grant money and an additional $21 million incentive fund from the Port Authority will enable truck owners serving the port to replace their pre-1994 trucks with newer cleaner-burning less-polluting vehicles.

About 16 percent of the trucks that frequently call at the port were built before 1994, and they contribute 33 percent of the fine particulate matter, 14 percent of the NOx and 10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions each year. The program provides funding to replace an estimated 636 of these older trucks with newer vehicles, resulting in a reduction of about 118 tons of NOx, 14 tons of PM and 1,675 tons of greenhouse gases per year.

In addition to the truck program grant, the Port Authority also received $2.8 million from EPA to support the installation of a shore power system at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. The Brooklyn facility would be the first on the East Coast to provide shore power for docked vessels.

The grant will help provide the infrastructure required for ships to connect to the landside electrical grid instead of running their onboard diesel engines. Carnival Cruise Lines has committed to reconfiguring two cruise vessels that frequently call at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal with the capability to receive shore power, at an estimated cost of $2 million. This program is expected to reduce emissions from berthed cruise ships by 95.3 tons of NOx, 6.5 tons of PM and 1,487 tons of greenhouse gases each year.

The Port Authority also received a $1.8 million North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority grant to retrofit two diesel switcher locomotive engines with ultra-low emitting locomotive technology. Total project costs are estimated at $3 million, with the remaining costs shared by the Port Authority ($600,000), CSX ($300,000) and Norfolk Southern ($300,000), who each have agreed to provide one engine for retrofit. The program is expected to return emissions reductions of 185.7 tons of NOx, 4.73 tons of PM, 14 tons of volatile organic compounds and 1,935 tons of greenhouse gas over five years.

“These grants will help us make targeted investments in port infrastructure while remaining good environmental stewards,” says Anthony R. Coscia, Port Authority chairman. “Along with our partners in developing the clean air strategy, we’re committed to making sure that the billions of dollars in cargo coming through our port each year is moved efficiently and sustainably.”