Georgia Ports Authority Adopts Environmental Policy

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

As part of the continuing effort to build upon current environmental initiatives, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has instituted a policy for managing port operations with consideration for best environmental practices and procedures.

While the GPA has completed several environmental projects over the years, the purpose of the Environmental Policy is to formalize guidance as to how the port will operate with respect to the environment.

“Efficient cargo movement is our job, and this policy establishes the framework by which we will evaluate our operations and determine how we can operate in an even more environmentally-friendly manner,” explained Doug J. Marchand, GPA’s Executive Director. “As our environmental programs evolve at our facilities, this new policy will be considered in present and future decisions.”

The GPA is one of five North American ports chosen to participate in the Environmental Management System program sponsored by the American Association of Port Authorities. GPA’s new policy states that the Authority will meet or exceed environmental regulations; measure and continually improve performance; minimize pollution from port operations; and communicate its performance to the community.

The GPA is in the process of instituting an environmental management system at its Garden City Terminal, the largest single terminal in North America. Additionally, the port has recently completed several projects reducing its environmental impact including the construction of 34 electrified refrigerated racks and the electrification of its ship-to-shore cranes reducing diesel fuel consumption by 2.1 million gallons per year; retrofitting container handling equipment with engine exhaust enhancements, which reduced diesel emissions on this equipment by 25 percent; and converting fleet of container handling equipment to Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD), which cut emissions on this equipment by an additional ten percent.

Georgia’s deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 286,476 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $14.9 billion in income, $55.8 billion in revenue and $2.8 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia’s bustling economy.

As an instrumentality of the State, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) mission states that
the organization will develop, maintain and operate ocean and inland river ports within Georgia; foster international trade and new industry for state and local communities; promote Georgia’s agricultural, industrial and natural resources; and maintain the natural quality of the environment. To that end, the GPA is committed to conducting port operations in an environmentally sensitive and responsible manner to the extent feasible, practicable and consistent with the GPA’s overall mission and goals.

We will strive to:
meet or exceed all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and other commitments; define and establish environmental objectives, targets and best management practices and monitor performance; minimize pollution from port operations; continually improve the port’s performance; ensure that the environmental management policy is available to staff, tenants, customers and the general public; and communicate our performance to the community.

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