The Port of Baltimore has received a $1.8 million grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fund its Diesel Equipment Upgrade Program.
The program seeks to replace older cargo handling equipment and dray trucks with newer, cleaner, and more efficient models. This will then help the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) further reduce emissions at the port and its surrounding areas.
“Maryland’s Port of Baltimore has a robust environmental program, from reducing emissions to restoring Chesapeake Bay Island, while also serving as a tremendous catalyst for good jobs and economic growth,” said Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland.
The funds, sourced from the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA), will go towards replacing several pieces of diesel-powered equipment at Baltimore, including four yard trucks, six forklifts, one mobile welding unit and three heavy-duty dray trucks, with newer and cleaner machinery.
Earl Lewis, Deputy Secretary of the MDOT, added: “This $1.8 million EPA grant from DERA gives the Port of Baltimore an important tool in our ongoing efforts to be greener and to advance Maryland’s response to climate change.”
“Upgrading equipment and reducing emissions at the port and in nearby communities is a win-win.”
Ben Grumbles, Maryland Environment Secretary, also commented: “These funds are a big boost for clean air and climate progress and that’s great news for Baltimore communities and Maryland economies.
“We thank the EPA, MDOT MPA, and all the partners of Maryland’s green port who are advancing the state’s climate and environmental justice goals by investing in our clean energy economy.”
The Port of Baltimore’s Diesel Equipment Upgrade Program first began in 2008 and has since led to a total of 188 pieces of diesel cargo handling equipment being replaced or retrofitted with cleaner engines. This has prevented more than 5,100 tons of emissions.
Additionally, under this initiative is the Dray Truck Replacement Program. This was initially launched in 2012 and has replaced more than 275 trucks with cleaner modern vehicles.
The Port of Baltimore last received an EPA DERA grant in 2019.
Back in August 2021, MDOT MPA was also awarded $1.6 million as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Port Security Grant Program.
These funds were put towards solidifying cybersecurity and access control policies and initiatives at the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s state-owned public marine terminals.