AAPA heralds Clean Diesel Bill Reauthorization?
December 22, 2010 - LM Editorial
The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) today applauded congressional passage of the “Diesel Emissions Reduction Act of 2010,” or DERA, which now goes to President Obama to be signed into law.
The bipartisan bill, introduced on the Senate side as S. 3973 by Sens. George Voinovich (R-OH) and Tom Carper (D-DE), and on the House side as HR 6482 by Reps. Laura Richardson (D-CA) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), is a five-year reauthorization of the beneficial 2005 legislation that established a voluntary national and state-level grant and loan program to reduce diesel emissions.
Susan Monterverde, AAPA’s vice president of government relations, said in an interview that the biggest obstacle to getting this bill passed was “timing.”
“The bill was not introduced until November 18, so the fact that we got this passed in both the House and Senate before the end of the year, was quite an achievement.”
According to AAPA President Kurt Nagle, the ports association has strongly advocated for the bill’s reauthorization, and grants available through DERA have been invaluable in reducing emissions from older diesel engines, including those in use at America’s seaports along the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Great Lakes coasts.
“The DERA program helps ensure that verified emissions reduction technologies are put into place earlier than would happen otherwise,” said Nagle. “Reducing emissions from diesel engines provides significant public health benefits for port communities and port workers. Lowering emissions from engines used in ships, trucks, trains and other port-related freight handling equipment has improved air quality for entire metropolitan areas.”
Nagle further noted that DERA grants support American jobs. The program provides grants to fund engine upgrades and retrofits, many of which are manufactured in the United States. He said that installation of new engines or retrofit technology is usually done on or near the site where the engine is used, further benefiting U.S. employment.
the nation’s commerce needs and be good stewards of the coastal environment, and have used DERA grants to reduce emissions in some of the country’s most densely populated areas.
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