South Carolina has up to $12,000 for new trucks for port companies

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 6/27/2013

Trucking companies that frequently visit ports in South Carolina have an opportunity to apply for thousands of dollars toward the purchase of newer trucks.

The South Carolina Ports Authority truck replacement program recently received new funding. The program was established to reduce emissions by helping truck owners replace pre-1994 diesel trucks with 2004 model year or newer trucks.

Eligible truck owners may receive $12,000 toward the purchase of a 2004 model year or newer truck. To be eligible, the truck owner must be replacing a pre-1994 model year truck with a 2004 or newer truck.

Truck owners also must make 52 port calls at South Carolina ports annually.

The $12,000 assistance comes in the form of $10,000 in grant money and $2,000 for the scrap metal value of old trucks “which averages $2,000,” according to a letter from the South Carolina Ports Authority about the program. The program is being administered by Cascade Sierra Solutions.

To apply, visit the Cascade Sierra Solutions local office at the SCPA’s Columbus Street Terminal, or visit the program’s mobile office at the Wando Welch Terminal from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays. Applicants also can call Cascade Sierra Solutions at 843-628-7008.

The truck replacement program has a stated goal of reducing 85 percent of pre-1994 trucks that enter the state’s ports, according to a news release.

EPA estimates say removing a 1993 truck and replacing it with a 2004 truck cuts emissions by 60 percent.

“At the end of this year when the port eliminates most pre-1994 trucks, it will have reduced diesel particulate pollution by 34 percent from its total cargo truck population in the local area,” said Nancy Vinson, who runs the truck replacement program, according to the release. “Even as a conservative estimate, that is still a significant amount of emissions reduced, especially since trucks represent one of the two largest sources of port-related emissions.”

The program plans to reduce funding from $10,000 to $5,000 in August.

According to a news release from the state Ports Authority, the maritime community in South Carolina has received and distributed $5.5 million for truck replacement, truck engine upgrades and tug upgrades. The money was distributed through the federal Diesel Emissions Reduction Act and the American Recovery and Re-investment Act.

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