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Contact: Erin Dhand, Manager, Corporate Communications and Community Affairs
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Charleston Port Community Touts Green Initiatives for World Maritime Day

Charleston, SC - A healthy, growing port and a cleaner, healthier environment are compatible goals, as the Port of Charleston demonstrated at a “World Maritime Day” event today.

At the South Carolina State Ports Authority's Wando Welch Terminal, the U.S. Coast Guard joined various maritime businesses that showcased projects to reduce the port industry's impact on air emissions. Tugs, a dredge, cranes, a pilot boat, trucks and rail were all featured as examples of cleaner operations.

“It is important to protect the environment as we efficiently move billions of dollars in cargo through this port,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCSPA. “The port industry recognizes that we can grow business and be a good steward of our natural environment.”

As part of its comprehensive “Pledge for Growth” environmental initiative, the SCSPA and private companies are taking a proactive role in improving air quality in the region through a number of programs, such as projects to reduce truck emissions and cleaner fuels and engines.

The SCSPA and several private companies are working in partnership with the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, the S.C. Trucking Association, the EPA and the American Lung Association. Together, they have partnered on more than $5 million in various projects aimed at reducing diesel emissions.

These projects include idle reduction devices and filters on trucks, repowering 57 pieces of cargo-handling equipment and repowering two local tug boats and a dredge. These projects alone will eliminate more than 2,500 tons of pollutants and reduce fuel consumption.

“Collaboration between the public and private sectors is making Charleston port operations cleaner and greener, while saving money and generating jobs,” said Newsome.

World Maritime Day on October 16 is an annual event sponsored by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The U.S. Coast Guard, in cooperation with several additional federal agencies, is hosting parallel events in port communities across the nation to bring attention to the many environmental initiatives within the maritime community to reduce the effects of climate change.