ELIZABETH—On Wednesday, the Port Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched an aggressive program to replace up to 636 of the oldest, most polluting trucks serving the Port of New York and New Jersey with newer models that generate less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Pre-applications for grants and financial assistance to cover the cost of a new truck are available at the Truck Replacement Center at 1180 McLester Street, Elizabeth, or online at www.replacemytruck.org or in Spanish at www.cambiamicamion.org. The center will provide truck drivers with information about the program and about the application process.
The $28 million program is designed to encourage the owners of up to 636 pre-1994 drayage trucks that regularly serve the port to purchase newer vehicles. Truckers are eligible if they regularly call on the Port Authority’s marine terminals. The program is partly funded by a $7 million EPA grant, with the remainder coming from Port Authority funds.
The bi-state agency also announced a truck phase-out plan in which pre-1994 model trucks would no longer be able to call on Port Authority marine terminals beginning Jan. 1, 2011. Trucks not equipped with engines that meet or exceed 2007 federal emissions standards will no longer be able to call on the Port Authority marine terminals beginning on Jan. 1, 2017.
These initiatives were the result of months of discussions undertaken by members of the Port Authority’s Truck Working Group, a broad coalition comprising members of state and private sector environmental organizations, trucking groups, labor and the maritime industry.
EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck said, “Trucks and equipment used at ports are a significant source of pollution in the communities that surround them. Efforts like the Port Authority’s new truck replacement program and the much broader sustainability agreement signed today will go a long way toward cutting this pollution and improving air quality and public health. Reducing dirty diesel emissions will protect the health of truck drivers and the workers at the port, along with the nearby community. I applaud the Port Authority for its leadership.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “The Clean Truck Program is the latest in our efforts to achieve cleaner air at and around our port. On top of our other investments – including $600 million to build on-dock rail and $60 million to acquire and preserve environmentally sensitive property – we believe this program will help build on our legacy as good environmental stewards.”
Port Authority Executive Director Chris Ward said, “We have worked closely with all stakeholders to make sure that this new program will help clean up the pollution at our ports, and, in the process, ensure that we do not overburden our already struggling port and trucking industry. I want to thank EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck and the entire EPA for their generous support of this program, and I want to thank all of the members of our Truck Working Group for coming together around such a critical initiative.”
Under the program, trucks drivers will be eligible for the following assistance:
- A 25 percent grant toward the total purchase price of a replacement truck – averaging between $20,000 and $60,000 – which must be model year 2004 to 2008, equipped with an engine model year 2004 to 2007.
- Low-interest financing (5.25 percent over five years) for up to 75 percent of the total purchase price of a replacement truck
The Truck Replacement Program is part of the Clean Air Strategy for the Port of New York and New Jersey developed by the Port Authority in partnership with a broad group of port industry leaders, federal and state regulatory agencies, city officials and environmental groups to develop strategies to reduce emissions from all port related sources and improve air quality in the region.
Through the use of the federal grant funds, the program will pay for 25 percent of the cost of the purchase of a newer model truck. The remainder of the funds will be used to provide low-interest loans.
Tetra Tech will manage the overall program, including outreach, monitoring and reporting services. ACCION USA Inc., a leading nonprofit organization that provides assistance to credit-challenged small businesses, will administer the program funds.
In addition to the Clean Truck Program, the Port Authority has begun three other initiatives of the Clean Air Strategy. The Ocean-Going Vessels Low Sulfur Fuel Program will encourage the use of low-sulfur fuel by providing financial incentives to operators of ocean vessels for up to 50 percent of the cost differential between high-sulfur fuel and low-sulfur fuel.
The Locomotive Retrofit Program will combine Port Authority and CSX and Norfolk Southern rail funds with federal grant funding to retrofit two switcher locomotives serving the port with ultra low-emitting GenSet technology. And the Cargo Handling Equipment Fleet Modernization Program will reimburse participating port tenants for 20 percent of the cost of replacing existing cargo handling equipment with new equipment that meets federal on-road air-emission standards as applicable, or the most recent federal off-road emissions standards.
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