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EPA Funding Helps 'Green' Virginia Port Authority

Release Date: 07/16/2008
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215- 814-5113, heron.donna@epa.gov

(PHILADELPHIA, July 16, 2008) – The landscape at the Port of Virginia is becoming greener than ever, thanks to work by the Virginia Port Authority and funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Today at the Port of Virginia, Donald S. Welsh, EPA's mid-Atlantic regional administrator, awarded a $750,000 grant to the Virginia Port Authority (VPA). VPA will use the funds to demonstrate how it can lower air emissions by using a hybrid locomotive and two GenSet locomotives. The Genset is an emerging hybrid technology that is substantially cleaner than a traditional switcher locomotive.

“Virginia Port Authority has been demonstrating its environmental leadership, and this grant from EPA will help advance the authority's commitment to cleaning the environment,” said Welsh. “The emission reductions that result from using hybrid and Genset locomotives will not only provide improvements in air quality, but also generate fuel savings which is important when oil prices are so high.”

Locomotive engines are significant contributors to air pollution in many of our nation's cities and ports. Although locomotive engines being produced today must meet relatively modest emission requirements set in 1997, they continue to emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (PM), both of which contribute to serious public health problems. In March 2008, EPA finalized a three part program that will dramatically reduce emissions from diesel locomotives of all types -- line-haul, switch, and passenger rail. The rule will cut PM emissions from these engines by as much as 90 percent and NOx emissions by as much as 80 percent when fully implemented.

The funding announced today is part of EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign promoting options for modernizing and upgrading existing diesel fuel and equipment. For more information about EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign: http://www.epa.gov/diesel/.