CHARLESTON, SC: A new initiative US-based program launched June 28 aims to clean up the air in and around American ports. The initiative, called the SmartWay Drayage Program, is a partnership between the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
“This partnership will generate private sector investment in clean technology, improve the environmental quality of our nation’s port communities and demonstrate the commitment we have made as the shipping industry’s leaders to emissions reductions,” said Rick Gabrielson, CRT’s president and director of import operations for Target.
This program was designed to address environmental issues associated with port trucking, to encourage using newer, cleaner port trucks and to recognize SmartWay Drayage Partners for reducing diesel emissions from those trucks.
“With the rise in population and the growth of the freight transportation industry, we must be vigilant, forward thinking and creative in finding solutions that reduce toxic emissions and embrace market-based sustainability efforts,” said Marcia Aronoff, senior-vice president for programs at EDF.
The SmartWay Drayage Program is based on the SmartWay Transport Partnership, a collaboration between EPA and goods movement stakeholders, which provides a framework to assess transportation-related emissions and energy efficiency and recognize superior environmental performance. Through the SmartWay Drayage program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace older trucks with cleaner, newer ones, and achieve at least a 50-percent reduction in particulate matter and 25-percent reduction in nitrous oxide within three years.
SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement where they commit to ship at least 75 percent of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking carriers within three years. By giving business priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates an incentive to reduce emissions at ports, EPA said.