COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Four Mid-Atlantic States are teaming up to offer one of the nation's most generous programs aimed at replacing old, highly polluting trucks.
Led by the University of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA), the new program will target the so-called short-haul "drayage" fleet that shuttles between their major ports, warehouses and local stores.
The effort seeks to double the impact of a federal cash-for-clunkers-style program with public and voluntary private contributions.
The Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program http://www.efc.umd.edu/cleandiesel.html%22 will offer $15,000 to short-haul truckers to cover the down-payment on a new vehicle. The program is also helping arrange financing for the truckers. Over the next two years, it could replace hundreds of the most polluting delivery trucks in the region.
"We no longer want our ports to be the place where old trucks go to die," says the director of the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, Joanne Throwe, which is coordinating the new effort. "It's not just the air around the port that suffers - it's the routes the trucks follow throughout the region."
The Ports of Virginia, Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia, with support from their states, are chipping in to add dollars to a $3.3 million base grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Private industry has also expressed interest in supporting the effort financially.
All together, the program will match the EPA support dollar-for-dollar with a combination of public and private money. Already, the organizers have lined up more than $400,000 in public support. More is pending, and they are expecting financial commitments from the industry as well.
In the first year, Throwe hopes to raise approximately $1.5 million in public and private money to extend t
|Contact: Neil Tickner|
University of Maryland