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Public-private partnership to reduce US port truck emissions

The Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have launched the EPA SmartWay Drayage Program, yet another program targeting drayage operators at US ports.

The new SmartWay Drayage Program claims to build a partnership between a numerous goods movement stakeholders including major national retailers, trucking companies, port communities, environmental groups and the EPA to solve a critical health and environmental challenge: how to reduce harmful air emissions from port drayage trucks.

Rick Gabrielson, who serves as CRT president and Target's director of import operations, said the partnership will seek to generate private sector investment in clean technology, improve the environmental quality of our nation's port communities and demonstrate the commitment made by the shipping industry to reduce emissions.

The SmartWay Drayage Program mirrors the SmartWay Transport Partnership. Drayage trucks, typically older and allegedly more polluting than longhaul trucks, operate in and around port areas and represent one of the largest sources of diesel emissions associated with ports. This program was designed to specifically address the unique environmental issues associated with port trucking, to incentivize the deployment of newer, cleaner port trucks across the nation, and to recognize SmartWay Drayage Partners for reducing diesel emissions from those trucks.

"US ports generate jobs and are critical to our nation's economy," says Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "EPA's SmartWay dray truck initiative will help ports contribute to their local economies --while protecting the air quality, environment, and public health of nearby communities."

Through the SmartWay Drayage program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace older dirtier trucks with cleaner, newer ones, and achieve at least a 50% reduction in particulate matter (PM) and 25% reduction in nitrous oxide (NOx), below the national industry average, within three years.

Similarly, SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement where they commit to ship at least 75% of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking carriers within three years. By giving business priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates a market-driven approach to incentivize emissions reductions at port communities across the country. In addition to the financial support provided to trucking companies and owner operators by participating retailers, a number of EPA, state, regional, and local programs provide low interest loans and down payment assistance for transitioning to clean port trucks.

CRT's SmartWay Drayage Charter Partners include the following retailers: Best Buy; Hewlett Packard; The Home Depot; JC Penney; Lowe's; Nike; Target; Walmart; and the following port trucking carriers: California Cartage Express LLC; California Multimodal, LLC; Container Connection; Evans Delivery Company, Inc.; GSC Logistics; PDS Trucking Inc; Performance Team/GaleTriangle; Total Transportation Services Inc; and Western Ports Transportation.

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