New Program to Improve Air Quality at Port of Baltimore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Richard Scher / JB Hanson
(410) 385-4483

New Program to Improve Air Quality at Port of Baltimore

Replacement of Short-Haul Dray Trucks Under Mid-Atlantic Partnership Will Assist in Reducing Air Emissions

BALTIMORE, MD (January 31, 2012) - Owners and operators of short-haul dray trucks that serve the Port of Baltimore are encouraged to apply for incentives to purchase newer, cleaner running trucks under a program underwritten by federal and state funds. The Maryland Port Administration (MPA)/Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced today that it is providing funding to enhance the Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program, which is funded by a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA) and the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center. The Port of Baltimore Clean Diesel Program in cooperation with the Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program will provide $20,000 each toward the cost of a newer vehicle that meets or exceeds the 2007 EPA emission certified engine standard.

Dray trucks are large diesel trucks that are used to haul freight from port facilities to nearby local distribution points. Many dray trucks are older vehicles with high emission rates.

Trucks applying for the Dray Truck Replacement 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 2007 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.

“The Port Administration is committed to the continuous improvement of air emissions at the Port of Baltimore, and the Dray Truck Replacement Program is an important continuation of our Clean Diesel Program of the last few years,” said MPA Deputy Executive Director M. Kathleen Broadwater.

“Helping truck owners replace old dray trucks with newer, cleaner vehicles will improve air quality near truck routes and port facilities,” said MARAMA Executive Director Susan Wierman. “We’re very pleased that the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Port Administration are helping expand our EPA-funded regional program to reduce diesel emissions, reduce costs for Maryland businesses, and improve Maryland’s quality of life.”

“The dray truck replacement program is a great example of how a government and industry partnership should work,” said Maryland Motor Truck Association President Louis Campion. “The program’s goals are admirable – reducing emissions from trucks operating at the Port of Baltimore to promote cleaner air for everyone’s benefit, and the public sector is giving private industry the tools to achieve those objectives.”

Interested trucking companies may find information about how to apply for the $20,000 per vehicle incentive at the Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Program web site (www.efc.umd.edu/cleandiesel) The University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center is processing applications for the program. More information is available at (301) 405-3577.

The MPA, which manages the public marine terminals of the Port of Baltimore, won an Environmental Achievement Award last year from 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.

Out of 360 U.S. ports, the Port of Baltimore ranks as the top port in the nation for handling farm and construction machinery, trucks, imported forest products, imported gypsum, imported sugar, imported salt, and imported iron ore. During the first nine months of 2011, the Port of Baltimore handled more auto tonnage than any other U.S. port. Baltimore ranks second in the U.S. for exported coal and imported aluminum.

Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 14,630 direct jobs, while about 108,000 jobs in Maryland are linked to port activities. The Port is responsible for $3 billion in personal wages and salary and more than $300 million in state and local taxes.

###