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EPA to Work with Ports to Improve Environmental Performance - April 8, 2014

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is hosting the "Advancing Sustainable Ports" summit to mark the kickoff of a new EPA initiative to recognize ports that take action to improve environmental performance. EPA will also award $4.2 million in grant funding for clean diesel projects at six U.S. ports.

"Ports are the main gateway for U.S. trade and are critical to our country's economic growth, yet the communities surrounding ports face serious environmental challenges," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Today we demonstrate that through collaboration and innovation we can achieve the goals of economic growth and environmental stewardship."

Most of the country's busiest ports are located in or near large metropolitan areas and, as a result, people in nearby communities can be exposed to high levels of pollution. For example, diesel powered port equipment can seriously impact air quality for nearby residents and generate substantial greenhouse gas and black carbon emissions. Implementing clean air strategies at ports will reduce emissions and provide health benefits from improved air quality for workers and families who live nearby.

Over the past eight months, EPA has led a national conversation on ports, which brought together a wide variety of stakeholders from community organizations, port authorities, shippers, local governments and academia for three themed webinars to share information, goals, and successes of ports in reducing emissions and improving environmental performance. Through this process, EPA set the stage for the development of a new port recognition initiative that will provide additional incentives to improve a variety of environmental issues including improving local air quality, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing environmental justice issues. In addition, EPA's new ports initiative program will work with port authorities to develop emission measurement tools, which will help ports better understand their energy use and environmental impact.

The grants awarded today will help six ports improve air quality and reduce carbon emissions, by providing $4.2 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants to retrofit, replace, or repower diesel engines resulting in immediate emissions reductions in harmful pollution. The grant recipients are the Port of Seattle, the Port of Hueneme, the Port of Tacoma, the Maryland Port Administration, the Virginia Port Authority, and the Port of Los Angeles.

More information about EPA"s National Conversation on Ports: www.epa.gov/otaq/ports/

More information about the Port Summit: www.epa.gov/otaq/ports/ports-summit.htm

More information on the DERA grants for ports: www.epa.gov/otaq/ports/ports-dera-rfp.htm

EPA Honors 2014 Clean Air Excellence Awards Winners - April 2, 2014

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) presented the 2014 Clean Air Excellence Awards honoring nine projects from across the United States and one individual for their work on clean air and climate initiatives. The award recognizes innovative programs that protect Americans' health and the environment, educate the public, serve their communities and stimulate the economy.

"The innovative projects from this year's Clean Air Excellence Award winners will protect air quality in communities across the country," said Janet McCabe, EPA Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. "These winners are educating our communities, inspiring organizations to take action and developing cutting-edge programs that will cut harmful pollution, improve public health, and make our cities and towns more sustainable."

From improving indoor air quality in Tribal communities in the Northwest to installing solar panels in Tennessee, award winners demonstrate a commitment to improving the air that we breathe and addressing climate change. This year's winners include:

Clean Air Technology
Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility,
Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority, and Covanta Energy,  Dickerson, MD

Community Action
Regional 8-Hour Ozone Flex Planning, Central Texas Clean Air Coalition, Austin, TX

Ducktown 28-Kilowatt Solar Array, City of Ducktown, Ducktown, TN

Education Outreach
Idle Free Louisville, Kentuckiana Air Education, Louisville, KY

Improving Tribal Indoor Air Quality -- Tribal Healthy Homes Northwest, Issaquah, WA

Regulation/Policy Innovations
Seaport Air Quality Program, Port of Seattle, Seattle, WA

Transportation Efficiency Innovations
Clean School Bus NC: Kids Breathe Here, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Public Instruction, Raleigh, NC

FPL's Clean Fleet and Consumer Education Program, Florida Power & Light Company, Juno, FL

Gregg Cooke Visionary Program Award
Keep It Clean, Washoe County Health District Air Quality Management Division, Reno, NV

Thomas W. Zosel Outstanding Individual Achievement Award
Richard A. Valentinetti , Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

The awards program, established in 2000 at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, recognizes and honors both individuals and organizations that have undertaken the risks of innovation, served as pioneers in their fields, advanced public understanding of air pollution and improved air quality. Entries are judged by EPA and the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, and winners were recognized with a certificate at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C. on April 2, 2014.  More information: http://www.epa.gov/air/cleanairawards/index.html.

 

 

EPA Celebrates 10 Years of SmartWay Partnerships (March 20, 2014)

 

EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership is celebrating 10 years as a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest most energy-efficient way possible, saving businesses money while protecting public health and fighting climate change. Over the last 10 years, SmartWay has eliminated 51.6 million metric tons of carbon pollution, resulting in savings of more than120 million barrels of oil, and $16.8 billion in fuel costs.  SmartWay helps businesses move more goods more miles with lower emissions and less energy by helping accelerate the availability, adoption and market penetration of advanced fuel efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain, while lowering costs and improving environmental performance.

Ten years ago, SmartWay started with 15 Charter Partners, freight sector business leaders that shared and supported the initial vision of moving freight more efficiently, saving money on fuel costs and advancing fuel efficient technologies. Since then, the program has grown to over 3,000 Partners including some of the nation's largest freight shippers, such as Best Buy Co., Inc., Hewlett Packard, Lowe's, The Home Depot, and Sharp Electronics. Recently, General Motors and the U.S. Postal Service have joined the program. The program has recently expanded into Canada, which will allow U.S. businesses to access one seamless cross-border program with the nation's largest trading partner.  SmartWay has inspired other large U.S. trade partners, including China and Mexico, to initiate similar green freight programs, making it easier for multinational companies to understand their global goods movement footprint. Leading such a global sustainability effort requires ongoing innovation and collaboration with multiple freight industry sectors. For example, this year SmartWay will offer a first-of-its-kind environmental assessment tool for the inland barge industry.

The SmartWay Partnership is a public-private initiative between EPA, large and small trucking companies, rail carriers, logistics companies, commercial manufacturers, retailers, and other federal and state agencies.

Information about SmartWay's 10th anniversary: www.epa.gov/smartway/about/smartway10.htm.

General information about SmartWay: www.epa.gov/smartway.

SmartWay Case Studies: www.epa.gov/smartway/about/outreach.htm

EPA's FY 2015 Budget Proposal Focuses on Delivering Core Environmental and Health Protections (March 4, 2014)

The Obama Administration has proposed a Fiscal Year 2015 (FY 2015) budget of $7.890 billion for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This request is $309.9 million below the EPA's enacted level for Fiscal Year 2014.

"This budget is key to a new era of partnerships for the U.S. environmental protection enterprise, where EPA will work hand in hand - with our sister federal agencies, states, tribes, localities, agricultural and manufacturing sectors, small businesses, industry, and other stakeholders - to improve the health of families and protect the environment, one community at a time, all across the country," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "Our request focuses our resources on the things that really matter to the people of this country. We will seek to make a visible difference - whether it is protecting our precious waters and leaving our children a legacy so they can safely drink water from their small community water systems and fish and swim in their local rivers; reducing air pollution along roadways and neighborhoods; or cleaning up communities to maximize environmental and economic benefits."

The President's FY 2015 request will allow the EPA to continue to transform the way it does business, ensuring the best use of human and financial resources, while continuing to achieve the agency's mission effectively and efficiently. FY 2015 resources will focus on making progress in communities across the country on priority areas including climate change and air quality, toxics and chemical safety, and clean water.

Fiscal Year 2015 budget highlights include:
* Making a Visible Difference in Communities Across the Country
* Addressing Climate Change and Improving Air Quality
* Taking Action on Toxics and Chemical Safety
* Protecting the Nation's Waters
* Promoting Sustainable Community Water Resources
* Maintaining and Strengthening EPA as a High Performing Environmental Organization
* Protecting Our Land
* Supporting State and Tribal Partners
* Continuing EPA's Commitment to Innovative Research Solutions
* Environmental Education
* Reducing EPA's Energy Costs
* Reducing and Eliminating Completed or Duplicative Programs, and
* Funding the FY 2015 Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative.

For more information: http://www2.epa.gov/planandbudget/fy2015

EPA Sets Cleaner Fuel and Car Standards, Slashing Air Pollution and Providing Health Benefits to Thousands (March 3, 2014)

Based on extensive input from the public and a broad range of stakeholders, including public health groups, auto manufacturers, refiners, and states, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized emission standards for cars and gasoline that will significantly reduce harmful pollution and prevent thousands of premature deaths and illnesses, while also enabling efficiency improvements in the cars and trucks we drive. These cleaner fuel and car standards are an important component of the administration's national program for clean cars and trucks, which also include historic fuel efficiency standards that are saving new vehicle owners at the gas pump. Once fully in place, the standards will help avoid up to 2,000 premature deaths per year and 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children.

"These standards are a win for public health, a win for our environment, and a win for our pocketbooks," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. "By working with the auto industry, health groups, and other stakeholders, we're continuing to build on the Obama Administration's broader clean fuels and vehicles efforts that cut carbon pollution, clean the air we breathe, and save families money at the pump."

The final standards will quickly and effectively cut harmful soot, smog and toxic emissions from cars and trucks. The Obama Administration's actions to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gases from these same vehicles will also result in average fuel savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over a vehicle's lifetime. The fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards covering model year vehicles from 2012-2025 are projected to save American families more than $1.7 trillion in fuel costs.

By 2030, EPA estimates that up to 2,000 premature deaths, 50,000 cases of respiratory ailments in children, 2,200 hospital admissions and asthma-related emergency room visits, and 1.4 million lost school days, work days and days when activities would be restricted due to air pollution. Total health-related benefits in 2030 will be between $6.7 and $19 billion annually. The program will also reduce exposure to pollution near roads. More than 50 million people live, work, or go to school in close proximity to high-traffic roadways, and the average American spends more than one hour traveling along roads each day.   The final standards are expected to provide up to 13 dollars in health benefits for every dollar spent to meet the standards, more than was estimated for the proposal.

For more information: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/tier3.htm

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