By Charlie Morasch, Land Line staff writer
The federal government estimates that trucking companies, rail lines and shippers have saved more than $6 billion in fuel costs since the EPA SmartWay program was rolled out in 2004.
Those diesel savings are likely to rise exponentially during the next few years, EPA hopes.
EPA and two other organizations announced the launching of the SmartWay Dray Truck Initiative Tuesday, June 28.
SmartWay, launched in 2004, is a voluntary partnership between motor carriers and the EPA. The program encourages the use of diesel-saving items such as low-rolling-resistance tires and aerodynamic truck and trailer retrofits.
SmartWay’s new port program will include an agreement signed between motor carriers and EPA to track and reduce diesel particulate matter 2.5 emissions by 50 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions by 25 percent below the industry average over a three-year period.
“U.S. ports generate jobs and are critical to our nation’s economy,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “EPA’s SmartWay dray truck initiative will help ports contribute to their local economies – while protecting the air quality, environment and public health of nearby communities.”
Charter shippers already signed on include Best Buy, The Home Depot, Hewlett Packard, JC Penney, Lowe’s, Nike, Target and Walmart.
“Many of the port dray trucks today are older and dirtier than trucks used on highways, and contribute to serious public health and environmental challenges at ports and surrounding areas,” EPA Spokeswoman Stacy Kika told Land Line Magazine Wednesday, June 29.
The other groups that joined EPA in announcing the enhancement of SmartWay included the Coalition for Responsible Transportation and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Kika said the Environmental Defense Fund has worked within SmartWay for some time, and the Coalition for Responsible Transportation is “an umbrella organization that represents many of the new initiative’s charter partners.”
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