The Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has been awarded a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant. The $250k award will retrofit GPA-owned equipment with devices that reduce air emissions.
“As an integral part of GPA’s ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship, reducing consumption and emissions is a top priority,” said GPA’s Executive Director Doug J. Marchand.
The engine exhaust enhancements will include diesel oxidation catalysts and crankcase filtration systems installed on 80 units of GPA’s container handling equipment. “These equipment upgrades will reduce diesel emissions by 25 percent,” said GPA’s Director of Engineering and Maintenance Wilson Tillotson. “Further, the retrofits along with GPA’s recent switch to ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel will decrease emissions by a total of 34 percent for this equipment.”
In June, GPA voluntarily converted its fleet of yard cranes, trucks and other container handling equipment to cleaner burning ULSD fuel, which was two and a half years prior to the Federal requirement. Emissions have also been reduced by electrifying GPA’s fleet of ship-to-shore cranes and installing electric racks for handling refrigerated containers. “These actions to incorporate the use of electricity into field operations will conserve more than two million gallons of diesel fuel annually,” said Marchand.
The GPA is also participating in an 18-month Environmental Management System Assistance Project, which assists seaport authorities to develop and maintain state-of-the-art environmental management systems. Through participation in the project, the GPA receives training on management processes and procedures to better analyze, control and enhance environmental performance of port activities.
“By reducing the emissions that cause soot and smog, EPA is improving local air quality and delivering cleaner running engines,” said EPA Acting Regional Administrator Stan Meiburg.
DERA was passed under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and assists states and other organizations with grants and loans to curtail diesel emissions without impeding economic development. The initiative authorized $1b during the next five years to help states clean up diesel fleets through upgrades and retrofits.