New Video Helps Drive Message to Port Truckers

Last May I wrote about efforts to clean up air pollution at our nation’s ports, starting with trucks doing business in and around the Port of Houston. Given that the Houston truck program offers the best incentives of any clean truck program around the country, we wanted to highlight the program and share some of the success stories with the help of a video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FP6ZKR2bjQs

This program, administered by the Houston-Galveston Area Council (H-GAC), leverages state grant money from the Texas Emission Reduction Program with federal money to offer incentives for truckers to get into newer, cleaner trucks. While the program is targeted to truckers who operate at the port, any driver who operates the majority of time within the Houston area may be eligible.

Why is such a program necessary? Vehicles, facilities and industrial areas like rail yards are major sources of emissions, but some of the largest sources also come from trucks driving in and out of the Port of Houston each day. In the Port of Houston’s Emissions Inventory, for instance, heavy-duty diesel trucks were responsible for over one-third of the nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx).

In addition, port trucks have been one of the most difficult sources of emissions to address because drivers typically have a hard time getting financing for new trucks. New trucks can cost well over $100,000 and credit is harder to come by these days.

With this program, however, truckers can get approved for low-interest loans and buy newer, more reliable and less polluting trucks. This also helps their business within the goods movement industry, as there is a growing trend of retailers who prefer hiring drivers who operate cleaner trucks.

On top of it all, Houston air quality improves. Concentrations of ozone, particulate matter, and air toxics impact our health in a negative way. Poor air quality, an ongoing issue in Houston, can lead to asthma, respiratory or cardiovascular disease, cancer, and even death.

So when more port truckers drive newer trucks, emissions decrease, health improves, and we all benefit.

To learn more about the program, visit HGAC Air Quality/Drayage Loans.

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