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176 Concord Street, P.O. Box 22287, Charleston, SC 29413-2287
Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
Telephone: 843-577-8121 • Fax: 843-577-8127 • e-mail:


S.C. Ports Awarded Additional Funds to Reduce Air Emissions

Continuing its “Pledge for Growth” environmental initiative, the S.C. State Ports Authority (SCSPA) has been selected for federal funding to upgrade diesel equipment at the port, in the harbor and on the highway.

The $3.5-million project involves installing cleaner engines in container-lifting equipment, two tugs, a dredge and over-the-road trucks. It will be jointly funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the SCSPA and private companies.

“We are pleased to partner with private companies in the Port of Charleston on voluntary projects that reduce the environmental impacts of port operations while also improving a company's bottom line,” said John F. Hassell III, interim president and CEO and Board secretary of the SCSPA.

Overall, the project will eliminate 2,000 tons of air emissions, including:

On the terminals, the SCSPA will repower 36 of the Port of Charleston's full container handlers that stack containers in the yard, replacing Tier 0 engines with certified Tier 3 engines. The new engines reduce NOx by 80 percent and PM by nearly 85 percent, while also extending the life of the equipment and improving fuel efficiency.

A baseline air emissions inventory released last September indicates that the majority of port-related air emissions are from mobile sources. To help reduce emissions from mobile sources, the SCSPA partnered with several companies in the private sector, including a tug and barge company, a dredge contractor and a drayage trucking firm.

Under the grant project, two Charleston-based tug boats owned by Stevens Towing Co., Inc. of Yonges Island will be repowered. Existing Tier 0 engines will be replaced with 2009-certified Tier 2 engines, which will reduce fuel usage by almost 30 percent and provide significant reductions in emissions.

Also in the harbor, a dredge operated by Marinex Construction Inc. will be repowered with a cleaner diesel engine years before it is required to be replaced. The repower will reduce NOx by more than 37 percent and CO by almost 20 percent.

To decrease emissions on local roads, Evans Delivery Service will install diesel multi-stage filters (DMFs) in 40 local drayage trucks. Evans is already a partner in EPA's SmartWay Transport Program. The technology decreases PM emissions by about 60 percent.

To implement these efforts, the SCSPA requested almost $2 million in federal funds to match the $1.5 million in matching funds set aside by the partners. All projects will be completed by October 2010.

The project is part of the SCSPA's voluntary partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to further reduce port-related air emissions. Other voluntary projects completed or underway include electrifying container cranes, truck retrofits, cleaner engines in port equipment and cleaner fuels used in tugs, pilot boats, rail engines and other port equipment.

In addition to DHEC and the private companies, other project partners include the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the American Lung Association.