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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: EDhand@scspa.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
3/24/2010

Ports Authority, DHEC Renew Voluntary Clean Air Partnership

Charleston, SC - The South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) today extended a voluntary agreement that has successfully reduced port-related air emissions.

Through a unique partnership - the only one of its kind in South Carolina - the two agencies have worked together over the past three years to implement programs that cut emissions associated with the port's existing and future facilities and improve air quality in the Charleston region.

The SCSPA's efforts have earned national acclaim. In a visit to the port this month, EPA assistant administrator Gina McCarthy lauded the SCSPA's proactive approach to cutting emissions both on its facilities and beyond the port's footprint.

Since the partnership started in March 2007, the SCSPA and DHEC have brought on various emissions reductions that impact both current and future facilities. Specific actions either accomplished or underway include:

Perhaps the greatest work is associated with the more than $5 million in federal grants and local matching funds that are reducing more than 2,500 tons of pollutants from both port-owned and privately-owned diesel equipment. The public-private partners in the projects include the SCSPA, DHEC, and 23 private companies and associations.

“The Port of Charleston has become recognized as a leader in environmental stewardship throughout the Southeast,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the SCSPA. “Continuing our partnership with DHEC strengthens the port community's pledge to cleaner air while we grow business through the port.”

“This has been a precedent-setting partnership,” said DHEC commissioner C. Earl Hunter. “The Ports Authority and the transportation industry have taken a proactive approach to reducing emissions and improving air quality. DHEC looks forward to continuing this work.”

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 and receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. An economic development engine for the state, port operations facilitate 260,800 jobs across South Carolina and nearly $45 billion in economic activity each year.