Author Archives: Elena Craft, PhD

Texas Companies Among Winners of EPA Award for Sustainable Freight Transport

trucks flickrEPA just announced the winners of the 2016 SmartWay Excellence Award for sustainable freight transport.

44 companies — out of more than 3,500 partners in the program – were honored for their accomplishments in freight supply chain environmental performance and energy efficiency.

This year’s well-deserved accolades went to 43 truck carriers, seven shippers and one barge carrier – including some SmartWay partners in Texas.

The awards demonstrate that environmental stewardship and economic success go hand in hand, and are an example of EPA’s commitment to recognizing companies that achieve those “win-wins.” 

Spotlight on Freight Sustainability Leaders in Texas

Four Texas truck carriers – High Country Transportation, Jack Key Auto Transport, Mustang Express and OutWest Express – were honored with the SmartWay Excellence award this year, demonstrating their commitment to the SmartWay program goals of improving efficiency in the freight industry, reducing fuel use, reducing air pollution, and saving money.

EDF congratulates them – and applauds all 202 SmartWay partners in Texas (up from 177 in 2015.)

These freight leaders include prominent names such as AT&T, Dell Inc., PepsiCo, Inc., and Toyota. In 2013, AT&T (headquartered in Dallas) became the largest wireless carrier to join the program, and Dell Inc. (headquartered in Round Rock, near Austin) has been a SmartWay member since the program’s inception in 2004.

About the SmartWay Program

EPA’s SmartWay program is a market-driven initiative that empowers businesses to move goods in the cleanest, most energy-efficient way possible, while protecting public health and reducing the impacts of climate change.

The program emphasizes measuring environmental performance criteria, such as fuel efficiency and use of cleaner technologies. Membership is voluntary, so businesses choose to make energy-efficient transportation decisions and are then eligible to receive national recognition for achieving high environmental performance.

The ultimate goals of the program are to accelerate the availability, adoption and market penetration of advanced fuel efficient technologies and operational practices in the freight supply chain.

SmartWay has an impressive track record of environmental and economic success. Since 2004, the EPA program has saved more than 170 million barrels of oil — the equivalent of eliminating annual energy use in more than six million homes.

SmartWay’s clean air achievements (almost 73 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, 1.5 million tons of nitrogen oxides, and 60,000 tons of particulate matter emissions avoided) are also a boon to public health.

Companies affiliated with the SmartWay Program have saved almost $25 billion in fuel costs to date, supporting the North American freight industry while lowering costs for the consumer.

You can learn more about the SmartWay program, including a complete list of SmartWay partners and 2016 award winners, on the EPA’s SmartWay program website.

Posted in Air Pollution, Clean Car Standards, Climate Change, Dallas Fort-Worth, Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, Goods Movement, Transportation| Comments are closed

Promoting Freight Supply Chain Sustainability: Environmental Defense Fund Selected as a 2016 SmartWay Affiliate Honoree


EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership has been a powerful tool for encouraging operators to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

We all know that the Environmental Protection Agency works to make the freight industry more sustainable, but they can’t do it all on their own- partnerships and outreach to industry are key in achieving these goals. So who else is involved in the push for freight transportation efficiency?

Initiated in 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Transport Partnership has been one of the agency’s most powerful tools for encouraging freight transportation operators to improve their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. Since 2004, SmartWay Partners have saved a reported $24.9 billion in fuel costs and eliminated 72.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions, 1.5 million tons of NOx emissions, and 59,000 tons of PM emissions.  Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Energy Efficiency, Environment, SmartWay| Tagged , | Comments are closed

Houston, Dallas Mayors Show Leadership in Supporting Clean Energy Economy for Texas

power lines unsplashWhen the President announced the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from power plants last year, he recognized that this policy would not only reduce carbon pollution, but it would boost the development of a clean energy economy that is driving growth and prosperity across the nation.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Dallas Mayor Michael Rawlings are among the many leaders who recognize this opportunity in the Clean Power Plan. The mayors know that states and cities that join the race first, and run it the fastest, will win both more investment in clean technologies and less air pollution for their communities.

Of course, we will all benefit by reducing the impacts of climate change – including extreme heat, dangerous sea level rise, and more powerful storms. That fact was reinforced by new research released last week highlighting that sea-level rise may be happening almost twice as fast as the worst case prediction made by the United Nations just a few years ago. Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Clean Power Plan| Comments are closed

Part III: Flawed Logic at Texas Environmental Agency Results in Costly Lawsuits and Poor Public Health Policy

There is robust agreement on the dangers of ozone pollution in the medical health community.

Part I of our series on ozone described how 2015 was a bad year for Houston ozone. Part II reviewed recent research from leading Houston scientists that explains why more ozone pollution is harmful to our health. Part III explains how faulty logic and erroneous assumptions had led to costly lawsuits and poor public health policy across the state. Part IV will identify some solutions to Houston’s ozone problem and suggest measures to protect the health of Houston area residents.

There has been quite a bit of activity related to the proposed U.S. ozone regulations in the past year. As part of a four part series on ozone in 2015, we’d like to take the time to rebuke some of the scientifically-flawed testimony provided by state environmental officials, including Dr. Michael Honeycutt, toxicologist for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), the state environmental agency. We feel that the agency has presented health information in a way that is misleading and contradicts the robust opinion of the medical health community on the issue.

First, a little context is important. We at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have participated in the public process involving the ozone standard and provided testimony to Congress on the health effects of ozone exposure. TCEQ has challenged the health-based standards in an aggressive way, and their efforts have been fodder for expensive and frivolous lawsuits filed by the state. Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Houston, Ozone, TCEQ, Uncategorized| Tagged , , | Read 2 Responses

Here’s An Excellent Tool in the Clean Air Toolbox – Is Your Port Using It?

Maryland Ports Authority was awarded almost $900,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency to replace 25 drayage trucks at the Port of Baltimore.

Funding to incentivize the replacement of older equipment and vehicles is one of the best tools that we have in the clean air toolbox for reducing dangerous diesel emissions from heavy-duty trucks and equipment. Whether through national programs like the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) or Texas’ own Texas Emission Reduction Plan, there are funding sources available to help ports and other goods movement facilities replace older, high-polluting engines with newer, cleaner ones.

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has been a strong advocate of these programs, and a committed partner to ports to assist in the development of clean air projects. For example, earlier this year EDF helped two projects at the Port of Houston secure nearly two million dollars of DERA funds to replace 39 trucks diesel trucks operating at the port. Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Drayage, Environmental Protection Agency, Houston| Tagged , | Read 1 Response

EPA SmartWay Partners Receive National Recognition for Environmental Accomplishments

Image Source: Flickr/TruckPR

This year, 11 companies out of 3,220 partners received the 2015 SmartWay Excellence Award in the shipping and logistics categories.

In recognition of their accomplishments, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced recipients for the 2015 SmartWay Excellence Award, which “honors top shipping, logistics, and carrier company partners for superior environmental performance.” The accolades were well deserved, and the latest example of EPA’s commitment to recognizing companies that achieve win-wins, demonstrating that environmental stewardship and economic success go hand in hand.

EPA’s SmartWay program is a public-private partnership with a primary focus on encouraging more sustainable freight transport. With more than 3,220 SmartWay members nationwide, the program emphasizes measuring environmental performance criteria, such as fuel efficiency and use of cleaner technologies. Membership is voluntary, so businesses choose to make energy-efficient transportation decisions and are then eligible to receive national recognition for achieving high environmental performance. Read More »

Posted in Air Pollution, Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, SmartWay| Read 1 Response
  • About the author

    Health scientist
    Dr. Craft’s expertise is on air toxics issues, focusing specifically on reducing criteria and greenhouse gas emissions from the energy and transportation sectors. She has worked to reduce emissions and toxics and has been an integral strategist in designing and initiating comprehensive clean air measures, as well as in developing standards to measure environmental performance.

  • About this Blog

    Confluence of SJR, Old, and Middle rivers

    Advocating for healthier air and cleaner energy in Texas through public education and policy influence.

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