AAPA wants reauthorization for Diesel Emissions Reduction Act
November 30, 2010 - LM Editorial
While “the new austerity” is shaping public policy in Washington DC these days, there is concern among ocean shippers that there may be a negative impact on some supply chains.
This position appears to be shared by The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) which recently delivered a letter to Congress urging it to support S. 3973—legislation to reauthorize the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).
“Over the past five years, DERA has been invaluable in reducing emissions from older diesel engines, especially those in use at America’s ports along the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf and Great Lakes coasts,” said AAPA president and CEO, Kurt Nagle.
The legislation, introduced by Senator Voinovich, would enable the ports to fund projects with government money rather than tapping into shipping stakeholders.
DERA was enacted in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with overwhelming bi-partisan support to help address emissions from the estimated 11 million existing diesel engines that are not affected by EPA’s new engine rules.
If the lame duck Congress does not reauthorize the Act, it could mean that ports will have to shoulder the expense in the future.
“And when you squeeze the supply chain at one end, it means more cost at the other,” said AAPA spokesman Aaron Ellis.
In an interview with LM, he explained that the current DERA funding scheme permits ports to concentrate on job creation and infrastructure.”
“Which, in turn,” said Ellis, “serves to drive another national objective: exports.”
Key to the success of seaports are the diesel engines that power trucks, rail, cargo handling equipment and harbor craft, such as tugs, towboats and ferries.
“America’s public port agencies, which strive to both meet the nation’s commerce needs and be good stewards of the coastal environment, have used DERA grants to reduce emissions in some of the country’s most densely populated areas,” stated Nagle in his letter.
“Lowering emissions from these sources has improved air quality for entire metropolitan areas, especially benefitting waterfront workers and nearby communities,” he added.
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