Keep on Trucking
Port of New Orleans moves forward with EPA grant to help truck owners replace older vehicles
The Port of New Orleans made headway to cleaner air and launched its Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program (Clean TRIP) in September. The program provides financial incentives for local short-haul truck owners to voluntarily replace approximately 20 Class 8 drayage trucks from model years 1993-2006 with trucks from model year 2012 and newer.
The cost-share program provides 50 percent of the vehicle sale cost (up to $35,000) and a maximum of two trucks per owner or fleet. It is open to those who service cargo terminals and warehouses along the Mississippi River and the Industrial Canal. It is part of a $727,000 Clean Diesel competitive grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Board of Commissioners of the Port of New Orleans.
“This program is a win-win,” said Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “Local trucking companies can replace inefficient vehicles cost-effectively with commensurate emissions reductions, and we have the opportunity to start a conversation about air quality.”
Applications for the program were due by noon on Oct. 12 and had to be delivered in person at either the Port of New Orleans Facilities Services or Administration building. At time of press, 14 applications had been received for the 20 available grants. If more than 20 complete and eligible applications are received by the due date, a public lottery will be held at the Port Administration Building Oct. 19. Port staff said that if the interest and applications for Clean TRIP grants are strong, they will work to procure additional funds through emissions reductions programs.
To attract as many qualified applicants as possible and minimize potential confusion during the detailed, multi-step application process, the Port hosted two informational sessions for the public. The Port also created a dedicated website at cleantrip.portno.com.
“We have worked hard to launch this new program and we are grateful to the EPA and port stakeholders,” said Amelia Pellegrin, Port of New Orleans Director of Sustainability. “Many port partners have helped us market the program to truck owners, and the trucking community has shown such enthusiasm and commitment to our environmental sustainability goals.”
The Clean TRIP grant supports the local port trucking community, helps reduce local air emissions, and increases reliability and efficiency of on-road goods movement. The program also provides an opportunity for community discussion and outreach about air quality.
The total Clean TRIP project cost is $1.537 million, with $700,000 coming from mandatory cost-share with eligible truck owners and $110,636 coming from the Port for administrative costs. Key local partners in the two-year program include the Regional Planning Commission, Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, University of New Orleans and the Environmental Defense Fund.