The US Federal Highway Administration (FHA) opened applications for the first round of a new $400 million grant program focusing on port electrification and efficiency improvements.
Source: Long Beach Business Journal
The FY2022-2023 funding for the Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Grant Program totals $160 million.
The funding will focus on projects that reduce emissions from idling trucks at our nation's ports, which negatively impacts air quality for surrounding communities, truck drivers and port workers.
"When truckers spend hours idling at ports, it costs them time, takes money out of their pockets, and pollutes the air in nearby communities," US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. "The investments we are announcing today will save truck drivers time and money, help ports reduce congestion and emissions, and deliver better air quality for workers and communities alike."
"This new competitive grant program will modernize and update our nation's port system by helping to combat a notorious source of air pollution," Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said. "Reducing the impact that truck emissions have on neighboring communities will help improve the health and wellbeing of port workers, truck drivers, and families who live nearby."
The program is part of the Justice40 Initiative, which advances President Biden's commitment to environmental justice by aiming to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution.
The FHWA seeks to fund projects that reduce truck emissions in communities adjacent to ports, which disproportionately bear the negative environmental impacts. Port-related trade has increased in recent years and this activity has led to the queuing of trucks waiting to offload their goods. Port facilities, port workers, and surrounding neighborhoods often experience poor air quality due to significant truck congestion and idling both inside and outside the port facility.
Eligible project activities include:
■ the development of port-related infrastructure that reduces emissions from port-related truck idling.
■ on-truck technologies that reduce emissions from port-related truck idling.
■ the use of zero or low emissions powertrains or fuels on trucks.
■ reducing truck congestion within or adjacent to ports, including through enhanced intermodal rail connections.
■ reducing port-related emissions from idling trucks, including through port electrification and improving the efficiency of port operations.
Further, the grant program will make possible more charging stations and electrical hookups for trucks alongside auxiliary electric power units that are used to provide power to the cab or sleeper berth while allowing the truck's engine to be turned off and save fuel.
The program complements the Maritime Administration's (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP), which provides grants to safety, efficiency and reliability of the movement of goods through ports and intermodal connections to ports.