Truckers Gain Access to Millions of Dollars to Slash Air Pollution
(Elizabeth, N.J. – March 10, 2010) Leading the way to cleaner air and healthier communities, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ) unveiled a comprehensive agreement that will cut harmful pollution from the east coast’s busiest port. The states launched a $28 million truck replacement program, partially funded by $7 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which will replace old trucks with vehicles that meet stricter pollution standards. The agreement, signed by a wide array of federal, state and local partners, details the specific steps the partners will employ to reduce harmful diesel pollution from the Port of New York and New Jersey. EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck, PANYNJ Chairman Anthony R. Coscia, PANYNJ Executive Director Christopher O. Ward and Robert Martin, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were joined by other state and local partners as they put the final signatures on the milestone agreement today in Port Elizabeth. The innovative pact outlines actions such as investing in pollution reduction technologies and developing air pollution inventories. The New York City metropolitan area has unhealthy air and does not meet air quality standards for ozone and fine particulate matter. Diesel exhaust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose serious health risks, including aggravating the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory problems in healthy individuals.
To memorialize their goals, the milestone document was signed by EPA, PANYNJ, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The City of New York Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York Shipping Association and the cities of Bayonne, Elizabeth, Jersey City and Newark.
“Trucks and equipment used at ports are a significant source of pollution in the communities that surround them,” said Judith Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “Efforts like the Port Authority’s new truck replacement program and the much broader sustainability agreement signed today will go a long way toward cutting this pollution and improving air quality and public health.
Reducing dirty diesel emissions will protect the health of truck drivers and other workers at the port, along with the nearby community. I applaud the Port Authority for its leadership.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Clean Truck Program is the latest in our efforts to achieve cleaner air at and around our port. On top of our other investments — including $600 million to build on-dock rail and $60 million to acquire and preserve environmentally sensitive property — we believe this program will help build on our legacy as good environmental stewards.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “We have worked closely with all stakeholders to make sure that this new program will help clean up the pollution at our ports, and, in the process, ensure that we do not overburden our already struggling port and trucking industry. I want to thank EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and the entire EPA for their generous support of this program, and I want to thank all of the members of our Truck Working Group for coming together around such a critical initiative.”
The truck replacement program will replace about 600 model year 1993 and older trucks with cleaner, 2004 and newer trucks. Trucks manufactured in 2004 and later meet EPA’s later pollution requirements and are up to 98% cleaner than older trucks. Under the program, the PANYNJ will cover 25% of trucker’s costs for newer trucks. PANYNJ also plans to phase out additional older trucks serving the port as part of a broader strategy to reduce diesel emissions from their operations. Their phase out program consists of 2 steps: a ban on pre-1994 trucks beginning January 1, 2011 and a ban on pre-2007 trucks beginning January 1, 2017. There are more than 3 million truck trips to and from the Port of New York and New Jersey marine terminals each year, resulting in nearly 2,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 55 tons of fine particle pollution. Nitrogen oxide is a precursor to smog, which can contribute to severe respiratory ailments. Likewise, fine particles are linked to lung and heart problems. Nationwide, diesel engines emit 7.3 million tons of smog-forming nitrogen oxides and 333,000 tons of soot annually. This pollution is linked to thousands of premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and millions of lost work days.
The Truck Replacement Program is part of a broader Clean Air Strategy on which EPA and the Port Authority worked closely with a consortium of state and local government agencies and industry, labor and environmental groups to reach a broad consensus on a landmark agreement between EPA, PANYNJ, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the City of New York Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York Shipping Association and the cities of Bayonne, Elizabeth, Jersey City and Newark. This diverse group worked together to reduce emissions associated with maritime operations – including ships, harbor craft, cargo handling equipment, locomotives and trucks – within the Port District. This agreement memorializes PANYNJ’s Clean Air Strategy for the Port of New York and New Jersey, which identifies me sures to reduce maritime and port-related emissions such as by using cleaner fuels, supporting development of low emission warehouses on port fields, promoting shore power electrification (cold ironing) and other green ideas. The truck replacement program is a significant component of the port’s overall clean air strategy.
To learn more about EPA’s efforts to reduce air pollution in NY and NJ or to obtain the full text of the agreement, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region02/air
To download an application for the truck replacement program, visit: http://www.replacemytruck.org
Truck replacement program contact: 877-309-1680, email@example.com
Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at http://twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/eparegion2.