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EPA Awards $2.1 Million to Clean Up Diesel Engines; Port of Houston Authority Receives Nearly $900,000

HOUSTON, April 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Port of Houston Authority will receive almost $900,000 as part of an award of more than $2.1 million by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for three clean diesel projects in EPA's Region 6 (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) to help reduce emissions from the nation's existing fleet of diesel engines. Nationally, EPA is awarding $8 million in funding to 21 recipients.

This funding is part of EPA's Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) Fiscal Year 2014 allocation, which will include engine replacements, repowers and idle reduction technologies to clean up a variety of older diesel engines.

The funding supports the expansion of the Houston-Galveston Drayage Truck Program implemented by the Port of Houston Authority and the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC). This program has assisted with the replacement of 200 trucks since 2009. In its entirety, through its Clean Vehicles Program, H-GAC has replaced more than 3,000 heavy-duty vehicles since 2002.

The $899,960 EPA DERA grant, which will be combined with a match of $900,000 from drayage truck owners, will replace 14 older drayage trucks (model years 1995-2003) with new 2010 EPA/CARB-compliant trucks with Class 8 engines. Over the life of the vehicles, reductions of 57.64 tons of NOx, 2.51 tons of PM2.5, 3.21 tons of HC, and 21.18 tons of CO are anticipated.

"Reducing fuel costs and improving air quality are important roles in the fabric of port operations, economy and air quality," said Charlie Jenkins, Managing Director of Channel Development and Environmental Affairs. "In partnership with H-GAC, the Port Authority continues to focus on environmental stewardship while maintaining the economic stimulus the port provides our region and Texas."

This project has support from Air Alliance Houston, Public Citizen and Environmental Defense Fund.

The new trucks will have GPS units installed to provide H-GAC and the Port Authority data that will offer perspectives on idling and port operations. H-GAC will provide feedback to fleet owners and operators for potential fuel savings and emissions reduction. Periodic workshops and events will educate operators and service personnel on proper maintenance and operation of clean diesel and alternative field engines.

For more information and learn more about the awarded projects, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm<http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel/prgnational.htm>. For more information on EPA's National Clean Diesel campaign visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel<http://www.epa.gov/cleandiesel>.

About the Port of Houston Authority

For more than 100 years, the Port of Houston Authority has owned or operated the public cargo-handling facilities of the Port of Houston – the nation's largest port for foreign waterborne tonnage. The port is an economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the nation. It supports the creation of more than one million statewide jobs and more than 2.1 million nationwide jobs, and the generation of economic activity totaling more than $178.5 billion in Texas and $499 billion across the nation. For more information, visit the Port Authority website at: www.portofhouston.com

The Port of Houston Authority logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=719

CONTACT: Bill Hensel, Manager, Corporate Communications Office: (713) 670-2893 Cell: (832) 452-5776 E-mail: bhensel@poha.com

Source:Port of Houston Authority