The Port Commission for the Port of Tacoma in Washington State, one of the largest container ports in North America, recently authorized a market-based program to help reduce over-the-road emissions from the oldest heavy-duty vehicles hauling in and out of the Port.
The Port of Tacoma “Truck Emissions Improvement Program” is designed to improve air quality, increase gate efficiency and be environmentally sustainable. The program, which is fee-free, was developed collaboratively with the trucking industry and other Port customers. It calls for the Port to:
- Promote drayage companies that meet program modernization goals
- Partner with public and private organizations to identify funding opportunities and options for fleet modernization.
- Work with customers to improve terminal gate operations, including enhancing operational efficiency, implementing anti-idling policies and practices, encouraging gate congestion management initiatives, and more.
- Develop a communication and outreach strategy for the regional trucking community. This effort may include a new website that allows truck operators to find specific information, such as turn times at terminals and vessel arrivals.
- Explore operational and technological innovations that might improve efficiency, such as tracking technologies, a chassis pool or secure, pre-gate parking.
- Establish a transparent and accountable system to track the progress of the program toward meeting 2010 and 2015 truck emission goals.
- Continue partnering with the Port of Seattle to implement common components of each port's truck program and coordinate efforts to expedite transportation infrastructure improvements.
Earlier, the Port also announced a plan calling for the voluntary environmental stewardship of ocean carriers. "Our customers and business partners have worked with Port staff and our clean air authorities to develop comprehensive and market-led approaches to environmental stewardship," said Port of Tacoma Commission President Clare Petrich. "Their decisions to voluntarily participate in these efforts are voluntary and they come at a cost. But they recognize that today that environmental stewardship makes good sense and is good business."
Representatives from the Washington Trucking Association, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington Retail Association, Washington Department of Transportation and the Port of Seattle offered comments in favor of the plan.