Tuesday, September 20, 2011

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Massport, EPA to launch clean truck program

The Massachusetts Port Authority and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced they have teamed up to establish a clean truck program that will offer owners of older trucks at least 50 percent of the replacement cost, or up to $25,000, for newer, cleaner-fuel-burning vehicles.

The Massport program is modeled after clean truck initiatives at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York, the partners said in a statement.

Expected to start yielding results later this year or in early 2012, Massport and EPA said, “the exact emissions reduction will not be known until each replacement vehicle is identified, it is estimated the program will eliminate more than 400 tons of hydrocarbons, 2800 tons of carbon monoxide, 630 tons of nitrogen oxides and more than 30 tons of particulate matter from the environment.”

The program’s funding is fueled in part by a $500,000 EPA Diesel Emissions Reduction Act grant adding to a total of $1.5 million that the two government agencies said should aid the replacement of up to 60 older port trucks that are 15 to 26 years old with a 2007 emission-compliant rig.

“This is an innovative program which will have a measurable effect on air quality, and therefore the quality of life of residents in South Boston,’’ said David S. Mackey, Interim CEO of Massport.

“It is of paramount importance that we take every step necessary to minimize the impact of heavy truck traffic on the surrounding neighborhood and its effect on the quality of life of our residents. The community is grateful for this effort,” said Senator Jack Hart, D-South Boston.

The program’s replacement agreements will require truck owners to perform required maintenance and repair. The old truck engine must be scrapped and proof provided to Massport and the EPA. The government funds will go to the truck dealership, not the truck owner, the agencies said.



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