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American Shipper

EPA announces ports action plan

EPA announces ports action plan

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Friday unveiled a voluntary plan to improve environmental management at the nation's ports.

   The plan details more than 70 possible actions the nation's individual port authorities, private terminal operators, transportation supply and logistics firms, government agencies, states and communities might take in cooperation with the EPA to increase sustainability in port operations.

   'By working collaboratively with ports, shippers and others on shared stewardship goals, we can protect the environment, the people living and working around port operations, and the vitality of a key sector of our economy,” said EPA Deputy Administrator Marcus Peacock.

   The plan, developed to complement similar strategies recently approved by the nation's port authorities, includes actions broken into six main sub-categories:

   ' Clean air and affordable energy.

   ' Clean and safe water.

   ' Healthy communities and eco-systems.

   ' Global environment.

   ' Ports communications.

   ' Enforcement.

   Possible actions include:

   ' Developing baseline emission inventories and emission reduction targets for the nation's top 75 ports.

   ' Loan programs to help up to 25 states to provide owner-operators of drayage trucks to upgrade or replace their vehicles.

   ' Support ratification of MARPOL Annex VI.

   ' Work with the port community as EPA develops the vessel-permitting program in response to the vessel vacatur lawsuit.

   ' Encourage the use of environmental commitments in port lease agreements and contracts.

   The EPA's region offices plan to work with individual ports to select a specific set of actions from the plan activities to work on together. The EPA said this would allow individual plans to be customized to address the unique environmental impacts and opportunities for ports in different parts of the country.

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