US plans $3bn port investment

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that it will be investing $4 billion towards port electrification as part of its “Invest in America” initiative. The funding, which comes from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will be divided up between technologies to reduce harmful air and climate pollutants at US ports, with $3 billion going towards the development of electrification of equipment at ports. The remaining funds will be used for reducing vehicle emissions under the “Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicle Program”.

Comments are being requested to guide the EPA on matters such as the availability, market price, and performance of zero-emission trucks, zero-emission port equipment, electric charging and other fueling infrastructure needs for zero-emission technologies in the near term. The EPA is seeking feedback on whether the components of these systems are manufactured in the United States.

The $3 billion funding will be disbursed through grants from the EPA to port authorities, state, regional, local agencies that have jurisdiction over a port authority or a port, or an air pollution control agency. Private companies that own, operate, or use the facilities, cargo-handling equipment, transportation equipment, or related technology of a port can also apply for grants in partnership with the public entities mentioned above.

The move comes as part of the ongoing efforts of the EPA to decarbonise transport, working closely with other agencies such as the Department of Energy and the Department of Transportation. Electrification of ports is seen as a key area for reducing harmful air and climate pollutants, as many US ports are structured as “landlord ports”, with actual terminal operators and stevedores often tied to large private companies.

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