Two new projects at the port of Charleston will help clean the air in South Carolina.
“The Port of Charleston announced two major initiatives to reduce port related air emissions. One was a truck project where we’ll be getting the trucks in the port of Charleston running cleaner and greener, and the second is a local tug company that’s going to be using cleaner fuels, either ultra-low sulfur diesel of bio-diesel in their tugs,” says Byron Miller with the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
The truck project includes efforts to reduce idling of trucks traveling to and from the port, and efforts to retrofit the trucks’ tire systems. A retrofit involves replacing the trucks’ dual tire system with singlewide tires, cutting down on rolling resistance on the roads. The tugboat project involves a major shipwork company, Moran Charleston, that will switch half of its fleet to cleaner fuels to reduce emissions in the state’s environment by 10 to 20 percent. These two projects, that cost a total of $1.7 million, are being funded jointly.
“A little more than half of these projects are being funded by the private companies or by the Port Authority, the remaining funds are being provided through EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) grants in collaboration with DHEC,” says Miller.
Miller says these projects will lead to a 57% reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions and a reduction of 37% in particulate matter emissions, which currently pollute the air. He says the switch to “go green” is good for the port environment and the entire state.
“The port is regional, we have facilities across the area and the cargo moves to and from companies all across the state, so when you look at reducing emissions from tugs locally or trucks that move locally and out across the state, that’s good news for air quality all across South Carolina,” says Miller.
The two projects have already begun at the port. The South Carolina State Port’s Authority project partners include the Charleston Motor Carriers Association, South Carolina Trucking Association, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the American Lung Association.