NOPB and Port NOLA Secure EPA Grant for Eco-Locomotive
NEW ORLEANS — The Port of New Orleans and project partner, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB), were awarded a National Clean Diesel Funding grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA grant will provide 40% of total project cost, allowing NOPB to retrofit the engine of a conventional diesel locomotive to a cleaner engine with low emissions beyond current requirements. This will be the first locomotive of its kind in the New Orleans gateway.
Details were shared in a press release.
This eco-locomotive will meet ultra-low emitting standards (Tier 4) and result in immediate air quality benefits such as reducing ozone precursors, diesel particulate matter, as well as fuel consumption and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. It will boast a sleek new paint scheme with green accents. The retrofit of the locomotive will begin in Spring 2019, and once completed, will be officially dedicated for use on the NOPB system.
“EPA’s clean diesel grants fund cleaner, more efficient transportation to help protect the environment and keep our economy growing,” said EPA regional administrator Anne Idsal. “Port NOLA and NOPB’s efforts to upgrade its locomotive fleet will contribute to improved air quality and benefit the New Orleans community.”
The successful grant application was executed in partnership with the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA). NOPB transitioned from the City of New Orleans to Port NOLA leadership February 1, 2018.
“With Port NOLA and NOPB now fully aligned, we are able to make strategic investments that provide air quality benefits for the community while providing superior service to our users and Class I partners,” noted Brandy D. Christian, CEO of NOPB and president and CEO of Port NOLA. “Port NOLA’s commitment to sustainability drove the decision to apply for this EPA grant and we look forward to seeing the eco-locomotive on our system.”
NOPB and Port NOLA have each piloted other innovative emissions reduction initiatives, including the Port of New Orleans Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program (Clean TRIP) and NOPB’s locomotive idle reduction plan, as a part of their respective strategic plans. Now partners, they are working together to foster programs that address both the maritime and rail space.
The application for funding was supported by an extensive list of community groups, city officials, as well as member of the Louisiana Congressional delegation, including: senator Bill Cassidy, senator John Kennedy, representative Cedric Richmond, and representative Steve Scalise.