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People living and working near ports across the country will breathe cleaner air and live better lives as a result of bold steps taken through a collaboration of industry, government and communities to improve environmental performance and increase economic prosperity.
July 2019 (Vol. 4, Ed. 4)
EPA Ports Initiative Newsletter

Featured News

This newsletter highlights several projects at the Georgia Ports Authority's Port of Savannah and grant funding opportunities from the US Department of Transportation. 
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Did You Know?
Georgia Ports Authority's Approach to Improve Air Quality and Efficiency, and Save Costs
GPA Ship to Shore
Electric Cranes

Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) operates two of 18 terminals at the Port of Savannah: the Garden City Terminal and the Ocean Terminal.  Garden City terminal is adjacent to its namesake, Garden City, and is one of the larger container terminals in the United States. Ocean Terminal is primarily a break bulk terminal with approximately 5,800 feet of contiguous dock space. 

Several projects have been completed or are underway at the GPA's terminals at the Port of Savannah.

These projects have focused on making improvements in four primary areas:
  • Air quality and other environmental gains at the port and surrounding areas;
  • Time and cost saving efficiencies;
  • Congestion reduction in and around the port; and
  • Engagement and collaboration with surrounding communities.

Drayage Truck Replacement

The GPA received a Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) grant in 2013 to replace 30 older drayage trucks with significantly lower diesel emitting 2011 or newer trucks. The program has been very successful. The DERA funded replacement trucks have resulted in the reduction of air emissions over the remaining truck life by approximately:
  • 1,200 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx);
  • 56 tons of Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5);
  • 62 tons of hydrocarbon; and 
  • 409 tons of carbon monoxide (CO)
The GPA is in the process of completing additional drayage truck replacements using DERA funding, and anticipates it will replace approximately another 100 trucks.

Replacement of Diesel with Electric and Propane

Several projects involved converting diesel-powered equipment to alternative fuel powered equipment. Projects include the following:
  • Ship to Shore Cranes - Electrification;
  • Refrigerated Racks - Conversion from Diesel Power to Electric;
  • Rubber-Tired Gantry Cranes - Converting from Diesel to Electric;
  • Forklifts - Converting from Diesel to Propane fuel

Infrastructure Improvements to Enhance Operations

Infrastructure improvements included the following projects.
  • Automated Traffic Assist Management System
  • Jimmie Deloach Parkway Extension
  • Cross-Terminal Drive
  • Inland Ports
Community-Port Collaboration

The GPA also worked with EPA and the Harambee House/Citizens for Environmental Justice as part of the  EPA Savannah Capacity Building Pilot Project with a focus on improving air quality for near-port communities. This pilot program was designed to help build relationships between the port and the surrounding communities.  Participants expanded their familiarity with EPA's capacity building toolkit as it was utilized for process guidance and reference throughout the pilot.

Ongoing Project

Mason Mega-Rail:  This project will enable the doubling of rail capacity to 1 million containers per year while reducing local impact and traffic congestion near the Garden City terminal. Residents in the neighborhood will benefit from the closure of six grade crossings and a reduction in blockages at 14 others by relocating Norfolk Southern track onto port property. Switching operations will be moved out of the community and onto port property. 

More Information

A more in-depth discussion of these projects can be found on EPA's webpage on 
Georgia Ports Authority Reduces Diesel Emissions, Improves Efficiency, and Saves Costs


Some of the content for this page is supplied by the Georgia Ports Authority. Note: In general, EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by third-parties. EPA is providing content on this page and article from a third-party for informational purposes only to showcase promising environmental practices. In doing so, EPA does not endorse any third-party non-government websites, companies, applications, practices, or technologies.
US Department of Transportation Infrastructure Funding Opportunities for Ports
Air Quality Improvement Projects Can be Funded
The United States Department of Transportation currently has three grant funding opportunities open where ports can submit applications for projects as noted below.

  • Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage; Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants (deadline July 15);
  • America's Marine Highway Projects (deadline August 15);
  • Port Infrastructure Development Program (deadline September 16).

BUILD Grants

This program replaces the TIGER grant program.  It funds surface transportation projects that improve safety, maintain infrastructure, benefit the economy, foster livable communities, and advance environmental sustainability.

Total Funding for FY19: $900 Million
Maximum Award: $25 Million

Eligible Entities include the following:
  • State, local, and tribal governments (including U.S. territories);
  • Transit agencies;
  • Port authorities;
  • Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs).
To apply, go to the   BUILD Grants webpage (deadline July 15).
Selection Criteria: Priority is given to rural areas and to applications that improve the condition and safety of existing transportation facilities and systems, foster economic competitiveness, and create affordable and convenient transportation choices.

America's Marine Highway Projects

The purpose of the appropriation is to make grants available to previously designated Marine Highway Projects that support the development and expansion of documented vessels, or port and landside infrastructure.

Total FY19 Funding: $7 Million

Eligible Entities include the following:

  • Original Project Applicant of a project that the Secretary has previously designated as a Marine Highway Project or;
  • A substitute (which can be either a public entity or a private-sector entity who has been referred to the Program Office by the original Project Applicant, with a written explanation, as part of the application);
  • State governments (including State departments of transportation), metropolitan planning organizations, port authorities, and tribal governments, or private sector operators of marine highway services within designated Marine Highway Projects.
To apply, read the  Notice of Funding Opportunity (deadline August 15).

Selection Criteria: Includes financial viability; demonstration that the funds received will be spent efficiently and effectively; demonstration that a market exists for the services; and public benefits (emissions benefits, energy savings, landside transportation infrastructure maintenance savings, economic competitiveness, safety improvements, and system resiliency and redundancy).

Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP)

The Department of Transportation seeks projects that will: (1) advance technology-supported safety and design efficiency improvements; (2) bring facilities to a state of good repair and improve resiliency; (3) promote efficient trade in energy resources; (4) promote exports of manufacturing, agriculture, or other goods; and (5) for only the top 15 coastal ports, support the safe flow of agricultural and food products, free of pests and disease, domestically and internationally.

Total FY19 Funding: $292.7 Million
Minimum Amount Awarded: $10 Million

Eligible Entities include the following:
  • Port authority;
  • A commission or its subdivision or agent under existing authority;
  • State, local, and tribal governments;
  • A public agency or publicly chartered authority established by one or more States;
  • A special purpose district with a transportation function;
  • A multistate or multijurisdictional group of entities, or;
  • A lead entity described above jointly with a private entity or group of private entities.
To apply, see MARAD's  PIDP webpage (deadline September 16).

About the Grant,  PIDP Webpage

Selection Criteria: Grants will be awarded awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a coastal seaport, as well as the unloading and loading of cargo at a coastal seaport.

More Information

A listing of additional funding opportunities from federal, state and local governments as well as private entities can be found at:  Funding Opportunities for Ports and Near-Port Communities