by Staff Writers
Charleston SC (SPX) Jul 01, 2011
The Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT),Environmental Defense Fund (EDF),and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have announced the launch of the EPA SmartWay Drayage Program, a new goods movement initiative designed to clean up the air in and around our nation's ports. The announcement came at a press conference held earlier this week at the Port of Charleston, S.C..
The new SmartWay Drayage Program builds a partnership between a numerousgoods movement stakeholders including major national retailers, trucking companies, port communities, environmental groups and the U.S. EPA to solve a critical health and environmental challenge: how to reduce harmful air emissions from port drayage trucks.
Rick Gabrielson, who serves as CRT President and Target's Director of Import Operations, said, "We at Target, along with the members of the Coalition for Responsible Transportation (CRT), are proud to have partnered with the US EPA and the Environmental Defense Fund to create a program to reduce diesel pollution at ports across the country.
"This partnership will generate private sector investment in clean technology, improve the environmental quality of our nation's port communities and demonstrate the commitment we have made as the shipping industry's leaders to emissions reductions."
Drayage trucks, typically older and more polluting than long-haul trucks, operate in and around port areas and represent one of the largest sources of diesel emissions associated with ports. Thisprogram was designed to specifically address the unique environmental issues associated with port trucking, to incentivize the deployment of newer, cleaner port trucks across the nation, and to recognize SmartWay Drayage Partners for reducing diesel emissions from those trucks.
"This program offers great incentives for independent owner operators and trucking companies to replace their older drayage trucks with cleaner, less polluting models," said Marcia Aronoff, Senior Vice President for Programs at EDF. "With the rise in population and the growth of the freight transportation industry, we must be vigilant, forward thinking and creative in finding solutions that reduce toxic emissions and embrace market-based sustainability efforts."
The SmartWay Drayage Program is based on the tremendously successful SmartWay Transport Partnership, which is an innovative collaboration between U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and goods movement stakeholders, which provides a framework to assess transportation-related emissions and energy efficiency, and recognize superior environmental performance.
"U.S. ports generate jobs and are critical to our nation's economy," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "EPA's SmartWay dray truck initiative will help ports contribute to their local economies - while protecting the air quality, environment and public health of nearby communities."
Through the SmartWay Drayage program, port trucking companies and independent owner-operators sign a partnership agreement and commit to track diesel emissions, replace older dirtier trucks with cleaner, newer ones, and achieve at least a 50% reduction in particulate matter (PM) and 25% reduction in nitrous oxide (NOx), below the national industry average, within three years.
Similarly, SmartWay retailers sign a partnership agreement where they commit to ship at least 75% of their port cargo with SmartWay trucking carriers within three years. By giving business priority to SmartWay drayage carriers, the program creates a market-driven approach to incentivize emissions reductions at port communities across the country.
In addition to the financial support provided to trucking companies and owner operators by participating retailers, the press conference highlighted a variety of U.S. EPA, state, regional and local programs that provide low interest loans and down payment assistance for transitioning to clean port trucks.
CRT's SmartWay Drayage Charter Partners include the following retailers: Best Buy;Hewett Packard; The Home Depot; JC Penney; Lowe's; Nike; Target; Walmart; and the following port trucking carriers: California Cartage Express, LLC; California Multimodal, LLC; Container Connection; Evans Delivery Company, Inc.; GSC Logistics; PDS Trucking Inc.; Performance Team/GaleTriangle; Total Transportation Services, Inc.; and Western Ports Transportation.
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Japan sweats out summer in shadow of nuclear crisis
Tokyo (AFP) June 30, 2011
Air conditioning has been switched off, office hallways are darkened and escalators have ground to a halt as a government decree to reduce power usage forces Tokyo to sweat out a hot summer. On Friday, government-imposed limits take effect aiming to cut electricity consumption by 15 percent in the Tokyo and Tohoku regions, three months after a tsunami sent nuclear reactors into meltdown at t ... read more
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