U.S. EPA Launches $3 Billion Clean Ports Program For Zero-Emission Operations

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  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the $3 billion Clean Ports Program to address the climate crisis and enhance air quality at U.S. ports.
  • This initiative aims to facilitate the transition of ports across the country to fully zero-emissions operations, acting as a catalyst for transformative change within the freight sector.

Components of the Clean Ports Program

The program consists of two main components. Firstly, the Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition, with nearly $2.8 billion allocated, directly funds zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure. The objective is to reduce mobile source emissions at U.S. ports, covering various areas such as zero-emission cargo handling equipment, harbor craft and vessels, electric charging, and hydrogen fueling infrastructure. Secondly, the Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition, with approximately $150 million, funds planning activities at U.S. ports, including emissions inventories, strategy analysis, community engagement, and identification of resiliency measures.

Objectives and Impact

The primary goals of the Clean Ports Program are to advance next-generation clean technologies and promote safer and more efficient movement of goods and passengers at the nation’s ports. Recognized as a critical part of America’s supply chain infrastructure, the program aims to contribute to pollution reduction and advance environmental justice.

Equitable Distribution

To ensure an equitable distribution of funds, applications will be evaluated across ports of different sizes and types, with special consideration given to ports serving Tribal communities.

Alignment with Presidential Initiatives

The Clean Ports Program aligns with President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, specifically targeting the reduction of diesel pollution from U.S. ports, particularly in surrounding communities. The program also supports the U.S. commitment to environmental justice and the Justice40 Initiative.

Eligible Entities

Entities eligible for funding include port authorities, governmental agencies with port jurisdiction, air pollution control agencies, and private entities collaborating with eligible partners.

Leadership Statements

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan emphasizes the program’s role in transitioning ports into centers of American innovation, creating jobs, moving goods, and bolstering the economy. Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi highlights the Clean Ports Program as a gamechanger, showcasing how clean technologies can drive environmental benefits, job creation, and economic growth.

Endorsement from Environmental Organizations

Environmental organization Pacific Environment praises the program as a “momentous opportunity” to fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure. There is a strong emphasis on protecting port workers and frontline communities from air pollution, with historic investments expected to drive a shift to a zero-emissions future.

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Source: Offshore Energy

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