The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the MDOT Maryland Administration MPA have renewed and expanded a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with other local authorities to strengthen initiatives aimed at cutting carbon emissions.
The agreement, also signed by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA), it calls for a continued committed effort to cut diesel and greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency at the Port of Baltimore.
It extends the original MoU signed five years ago and adds the MEA a new partner. Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said the MoU shows Baltimore remains “a leader among green ports globally” and will be “a leader among states pushing relentlessly for clean air, public health and climate action.
MDOT Secretary Greg Slater claimed the public and private partners at the Port of Baltimore show that “environmental stewardship can and must go hand-in-hand with job expansion and economic growth”.
“Reduction of diesel emissions, creative reuse of dredged material and projects like the Howard Street Tunnel expansion – which will increase rail capacity and reduce truck fuel consumption – are elements of our environmental commitment supported by this MOU.”
As part of the agreement, the participating agencies meet monthly to discuss relevant air quality objectives, share information and collaborate to seek federal funding for air quality enhancement projects.
MDE and MEA will provide technical assistance and assist with identifying and applying for both state and federal grants.
The parties also agreed to enhance climate resiliency and reduce air emissions, furthering policy objectives of Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act against the threat that climate change poses to Maryland. The agreement aims to seek increased input from nearby underserved communities when evaluating projects and programs to implement.
MDOT MPA Executive Director William P Doyle, was quoted as saying, “This MOU represents a strong commitment by the Maryland Port Administration to our environment.
“We pledge to continue working closely with our environmental, labor and private sector partners such as the trucking community and Ports America Chesapeake to further reduce pollutants and clean the air at our marine terminals, and to reuse dredged sediment from shipping channels to rebuild longeroded islands, creating native habitat and preparing for possible impacts from climate change.”