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Ports Initiative Vision
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.
December 2018 (Vol. 4, Ed. 2)
Ports Initiative Newsletter

Featured News

This newsletter features the National Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) funding opportunity, and outcomes from a successful DERA funding project completed by the Virginia Port Authority.
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Did You Know
EPA Opens Request for Applications for 2019 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants
2019 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants Program   Deadline to Apply - March 6, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is excited to announce the availability of approximately $40 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Program (DERA) grant funds to support projects aimed at reducing emissions from the nation's existing fleet of older diesel engines. Under this competition, between 40 and 80 awards are anticipated to be made to eligible applicants. Approximately 39 percent of 2018 DERA Clean Diesel National Grants applications received were for ports related projects.

One of the priorities is to reduce diesel emissions from vehicles, engines, and equipment located at, or that service, goods movement facilities such as ports, airports, rail yards, terminals, or distribution centers. 

Eligible Entities
Eligible applicants include regional, state, local or tribal agencies, or port authorities, with jurisdiction over transportation or air quality. Nonprofit organizations may apply if they provide pollution reduction or educational services to diesel fleet owners or have, as their principal purpose, the promotion of transportation or air quality.

Informational Webinars

Webinars on the Request for Applications (RFA) will be held on the following dates.
  •  Tuesday, January 8, 2019 at 3 to 5 p.m. ET
To join the January 8th webinar, click here
  •  Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 2 to 4 p.m. ET
To join the January 9th webinar, click here 
Dial-In: (202) 991-0477
Participant Code: 4149804#

Changes for 2019
  • Change to allow funding for marine vessels that are replaced with newer, cleaner vessels that operate on diesel or alternative fuels and use engines certified by EPA or the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Funding can cover up to 25% of the cost of replacement with a 2018 model year or newer, or up to 45% of the cost of a zero emissions vessel. 
  • Change in project sustainability criteria to separately give up to 5 review points each for: 1) a publicly available baseline mobile source emissions inventory or refinement of an existing inventory completed before 2014; and 2) a publicly available long-term air quality plan or refinement of an existing air quality plan completed before 2014. 
  • Change to provide funding for a vehicle with a 2010 or newer engine model year (EMY) to be replaced and allow the replaced vehicle to be retained or sold if the vehicle will replace a 1996-2009 EMY vehicle and the 1996-2009 EMY vehicle will be scrapped. 
  • Change to provide funding to replace a Tier 2 or Tier 3 locomotive, marine, nonroad vehicle, equipment and/or engine and allow the units to be retained or sold if they will replace a similar, lower Tiered unit, and the lower Tiered unit will be scrapped.
Refer to RFA for complete details on the changes noted above for 2019 Fiscal Year funding.

For More Information
Hybrid Shuttle  Carriers Reduce Costs and Air Emissions for the Virginia Port Authority

In 2013, EPA awarded $750,000 to the  Virginia Port Authority ( VPA) under a   Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant to replace diesel cargo handling equipment with hybrid diesel-electric equipment. The port used the grant to replace three Tier I shuttle carriers, used for loading, unloading, and transporting containerized cargo, with Tier IV diesel-electric shuttle carriers.

The new shuttle carriers were deployed through the VPA's  Green Operator (GO) program, which is a program designed to help motor carriers replace aging trucks with newer models. The shuttle carrier replacement was completed quickly and efficiently because of existing procedures in the GO program that already met the DERA program's vehicle scrap-and-replacement requirements.


The new shuttle carriers are cleaner, quieter, and more fuel efficient. Selected  (see webpage for complete list)  project outcomes include:
  • Reduced NOx and PM emissions by over 95 percent;
  • Eliminated an estimated 7.15 tons of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 0.78 tons of particulate matter (PM) per year;
  • Reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) by 2,270 tons annually;
  • Saved 17,382 gallons of fuel per year, which resulted in an annual cost savings of $67,789; and
  • Improved quality of life for the residents in surrounding communities through the the reduction of noise and emissions.

Lessons Learned

The VPA learned that some of the hybrid machine parts were not compatible with those of the typical diesel machine, so VPA implemented a process to keep specific hybrid components in stock as part of the regular inventory to avoid maintenance delays.

Through the GO Program and other project partners, information regarding successful projects like this can be shared with communities and other port industry stakeholders. This outreach demonstrated value and helped strengthen relationships with neighboring communities. 

Next Steps

VPA has received additional funding to replace another nine diesel shuttle carriers with hybrid-powered carriers. 

More Information

Go to the EPA webpage on VPA's Hybrid Shuttle Carriers