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Port of Mobile receives $4 million grant federal to reduce emissions

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration is announcing $4 million for port improvements in Alabama under a new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) program created to improve air quality for truck drivers, port workers and families that live in communities surrounding ports.

The Port of Mobile will use the funding reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from idling trucks.

Nationally, the new Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities program is providing $148 million in grants to 16 projects in 11 states and Puerto Rico. The funding represents the first round of grants under the new $400 million Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Grant Program under BIL and invests in port electrification and efficiency improvements. The purpose of this program is to reduce emissions from idling trucks at the nation's ports while modernizing infrastructure and strengthening supply chains.

"When truckers spend hours idling at ports, it's bad for drivers, bad for supply chains, and bad for nearby communities that feel the brunt of more polluted air," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. "The investments we are announcing today will save truck drivers time and money and help ports reduce congestion and emissions, while making the air more breathable for workers and communities."

"The projects funded under this program will improve the quality of life for workers and families impacted by pollution from idling trucks while building a clean-energy economy that combats climate change and makes our communities more resilient," said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. "Port-related trade is good for the economy but unfortunately has been at a cost to nearby communities, which is why we are pleased to announce this investment from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will make a real difference for people who live and work near ports."

The project to reduce congestion and emissions around Alabama is as follows:

The University of Alabama will receive $4 million to implement a new fuel injection technology on trucks at the Port of Mobile that will reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants from idling trucks. Studies and continued testing of the new technology will be conducted at the port facility and has the potential for use nationwide.

In the first round of grant awards with combined funding from Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023, FHWA has funded projects that reduce truck emissions in communities adjacent to ports, which disproportionately bear the supposed negative environmental impacts of idling trucks. Specific truck emissions reductions implemented include replacing diesel-powered trucks serving ports with zero or low emissions electric or alternative fuel-powered trucks, constructing electric vehicle charging infrastructure, employing port roadway access improvements, and studying technology enhancements to reduce truck emissions.

Economic Developer Dr. Nicole Jones Wadsworth told the Alabama Gazette, "The Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Grant Program is a federal government initiative aimed at reducing emissions from trucks operating at port facilities. The program provides funding for projects that upgrade trucking fleets and technology, so it is cleaner and more efficient. The grants also invest in infrastructure improvements to reduce emissions."

"Congratulations to the University of Alabama on a $4 million award to design and implement new fuel injection technology for trucks at the Port of Mobile, which will be analyzed for future nationwide use," added Dr. Jones Wadsworth. "Goals of the program include saving truckers time and money and improving logistics in an environmentally friendly way for trucking personnel as well as surrounding residents."

"In order for any new technology to make sense within the business community, the technology must be economically feasible, generate profit, and it must actually work," stated Jones Wadsworth. "If this can be accomplished, the upgrades seem to be a win-win for all."

 

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