The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), joined by the Coalition for Responsible Transportation and the Environmental Defense Fund, is launching a new EPA SmartWay initiative to reduce pollution from short-haul trucks that haul freight from cargo ships to nearby local distribution points.
According to EPA, many of the dray trucks today are older and dirtier than trucks used on highways. Model year 1994 and older dray trucks emit approximately 60 times more fine particle (PM 2.5) emissions than model year 2007 and newer trucks. PM 2.5 is linked to premature deaths, heart attacks, childhood asthma and increased emergency room and hospital visits.
Under the SmartWay dray truck initiative, carriers sign an agreement with EPA to track and reduce PM 2.5 emissions by 50% and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 25% below the industry average over a three year period. In addition, SmartWay dray shipper partners will commit to use the cleaner trucks to haul 75% or more of port freight.
Charter shipper partners in the program include Best Buy, Hewlett Packard, JC Penney, Lowe's, Nike, Target, and Walmart.
Under the agreement and through the incentives, EPA and its SmartWay partners expect to build on the SmartWay program’s success in cutting fuel costs, reducing harmful diesel emissions, preserving jobs, and protecting air quality. Since 2004, SmartWay partners including many of the country’s top retailers, trucking and rail companies and manufacturers have reduced fuel use, cut foreign oil imports by 50 million barrels and saved an estimated $6.1 billion in fuel costs.
For more information on the SmartWay dray initiative, visit http://www.epa.gov/smartway.