Northwest Seaport Alliance accepts grant for emission-cutting project

NWSA accepts grant in emission-cutting project

The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) has accepted a $782,482 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant programme as part of its efforts to cut emissions.

The DERA grant will support Rail Management Services (RMS), which operates at the South Intermodal Yard in Tacoma, to replace six existing diesel-powered terminal tractors with battery-electric versions.

John McCarthhy, Port of Tacoma’s commission president and co-chair of the NWSA, said, “This grant will help secure our ability to install the first permanent deployment of electric cargo-handling equipment in our gateway.

“Through our partnership with RMS and Tacoma Power, these upgrades will replace nearly 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel with clean electricity annually, resulting in reductions of diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions of 1.4 tons per year and 260 tons of greenhouse gas.”

Using the DERA grant funds passed on by the NWSA, RMS will remanufacture their terminal tractors into battery-electric vehicles.

RMS currently operates a fleet of 10 vehicles with a mix of Tier 2 and Tier 3 non-road diesel engines.

Ed Morgenthaler, vice president of Rail Management Services, also commented, “As an intermodal provider operating more than 50 terminals and performing over 9,000,000 lifts a year, Rail Management Services consistently refines its operations to find the most innovative and cost-effective assets available.

“With our decades long standing relationship at the Port of Tacoma and with NWSA, RMS is proud to be included in this electric hostler venture which will reduce emissions and create a safer, cleaner environment for our employees.”

Additionally, the NWSA Managing Members also accepted $132,000 in incentive funds from Tacoma Power’s Cargo and Material Handling Equipment Electrification grant program to support the installation of charging infrastructure to support the battery electric yard tractors.

Peter Steinbrueck, Port of Seattle commission president and co-chair of The Northwest Seaport Alliance, said, “We are pleased to receive the funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and Tacoma Power.

“In addition to helping meet our customers’ need for more efficient cargo-handling equipment, we recognized a transformational opportunity to move us faster toward a cleaner future.”

The new electric tractors are expected to go into operation late 2021.

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