Baltimore to overhaul dray tech with federal grant

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Truck transport container leaving the harbor.

The Port of Baltimore has been given US$1.8 million by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to replace its diesel-powered dray truck fleet and cargo-handling equipment with eco-friendly alternatives.

In a statement, the Maryland Port Administration said money will cover 44 dray trucks and four pieces of cargo-handling equipment, such as forklifts, yard tractors and other heavy cargo machinery.

“This EPA grant will help us continue cleaning the air around the Port of Baltimore,” said Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan. 

“Working with our federal partners, the Port is showing how to be a responsible steward of the environment and, at the same time, break cargo records, grow business and expand jobs for Marylanders.”

DERA funding is administered by the EPA through its national Clean Diesel Program. It’s estimated that the replacement equipment acquired for the Port through the DERA grant will result in a lifetime reduction of emissions output of about 14 tons of particulate matter, 290 tons of nitrogen oxides, 96 tons of carbon monoxide and 15 tons of hydrocarbons.

“We are proud of the Port’s continued leadership on cleaner and greener solutions and appreciate the support of EPA and Congress,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles.

“These investments are important for Maryland’s steady progress on clean air, public health and climate change.” 

“Through initiatives like our Diesel Equipment Upgrade Program and EPA’s Clean Diesel Program, we have reduced pollutants in the air around the Port by more than 10,000 tons in the past 12 years,” said David Thomas, acting executive director of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA).

The Port of Baltimore ranks first among the nation’s ports for volume of autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, imported sugar and imported gypsum. It ranks 11th among major U.S. ports for cargo handled and ninth nationally for total cargo value.

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