Environmental Protection

N.Y. & N.J. Port Approves Program to Retire Older Trucks

A clean trucks initiative won approval July 23 from the Port Authority Board of Commissioners, who authorized a program to encourage replacement of as many as 636 older trucks that serve the Port of New York and New Jersey.

This program will cost up to $28 million, including a $7 million federal grant, and is similar to but far smaller than the Clean Trucks Program of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The latter is moving forward amid legal challenges and will remove more than 16,000 older diesel trucks from service at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports if it is fully implemented as planned in 2012. The two ports are using incentives to place into service this year as many as 900 trucks that run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) and 100 trucks that run on lithium battery electric power. Since the program began Oct. 1, 2008, truck pollution within the LA-Long Beach port complex has been reduced by 23 percent, according to LA port officials.

The efforts on both coasts are bent on removing sources of emissions; the NY&NJ program targets pre-1994 trucks that regularly serve that port. If those truck owners buy newer vehicles, the reduction would be about 120 tons of nitrogen oxides, 14 tons of fine particulate matter, and 1,700 tons of greenhouse gases per year, according to the port. It says its truck replacement program has the support of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine and the administration of New York Gov. David Paterson. The nonprofit ACCION USA Inc. will administer the program funds, and Tetra Tech will manage the program, including outreach, monitoring, and reporting services.

"We've built a strong record of establishing environmentally friendly programs in our port over the years, including major investments to build on-dock rail, retrofitting marine vessels with cleaner engines, and preserving environmentally sensitive property," said Port Authority Chair Anthony R. Coscia. "This program builds on that legacy and will assist us in our efforts to be good environmental stewards."

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