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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Charleston Port Launches Truck Partnership

Charleston, SC - A new collaborative program in the Port of Charleston will reduce truck emissions and improve air quality, while saving companies big bucks on their fuel bill.

Under the public-private project, trucks serving the Port of Charleston will be retrofitted with emissions-reducing and fuel-saving technologies.

Funded in part by an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant received by the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA), truck owners that serve the Port of Charleston may apply for a rebate to help cover part of the cost for technologies such as auxiliary power units, or smaller generators that reduce truck idling.

“This project is a win-win for the environment and for trucks operating out of the Port of Charleston,” said Stan Nutt of G&P Trucking and president of the Charleston Motor Carriers Association (CMCA).

The SCSPA's partners include the Charleston Motor Carriers Association, South Carolina Trucking Association, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the American Lung Association.

“Through this collaborative grant program, it's much more affordable and accessible for truckers to upgrade their equipment,” said John F. Hassell III, interim president & CEO of the South Carolina State Ports Authority. “These technologies not only improve fuel use and cut costs of running the trucks, but they also reduce air emissions, providing a broader environmental benefit to the entire community.”

Truck owners may apply for rebates in two areas: idle-reduction projects and retrofit projects.

Idle-reduction projects incorporate auxiliary power units (APUs) and other similar devices such as battery air conditioning systems, thermal storage systems and fuel-operated heaters. According to EPA estimations, an average truck with an APU or similar device uses 8 percent less fuel each year. Truck owners will be eligible to recoup half of the cost to upgrade this equipment.

Owners also may choose to retrofit their trucks with EPA Smart Way approved technologies, such as single-wide tires and aerodynamic kits. Single-wide tires generate an estimated 4 percent fuel savings and aerodynamic kits provide a 5 percent reduction. These projects are eligible for a 75 percent cost rebate to the truck owner.

Applications are available online at and will be accepted until Monday, March 30, 2009. Selected truck owners will be notified in May with projects completed by the end of November.

The new truck project is one component of a broader $1.7-million grant the SCSPA received from the EPA to reduce port-related air emissions as part of the port's “Pledge for Growth” environmental initiative.

The other portion of the EPA program involves replacing Tier 0 engines with certified Tier 3 engines on 21 rubber tire gantry cranes that handle shipping containers at the SCSPA's three container terminals. Among other emissions reductions, the new engines will reduce Nox by more than 40 tons per year, or 57 percent, and particulate matter (PM) by 1.27 tons per year, or nearly 40 percent. The repowers also will improve fuel efficiency by 16 percent, or reduce fuel use by about 33,250 gallons per year. The repower project is expected to be completed by November 2010.

About the South Carolina State Ports Authority:

The South Carolina State Ports Authority, established by the state's General Assembly in 1942, owns and operates public seaport facilities in Charleston and Georgetown, handling international commerce valued at more than $62 billion annually. Seaport operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year. For more information, visit