Good news for anyone who breathes air in our fair city – the Port of Charleston is expanding its efforts to see that the trucks moving cargo in and out of its terminals are newer and cleaner with fewer emissions. The air quality in Charleston, particularly in the areas around the ports and interstates, is an inherent victim of the booming commerce provided by the ports. The S.C. State Ports Authority (SPA), the state agency that owns and operates the four bustling Charleston seaport facilities, has established a “Clean Truck Certification Program” that requires trucks serving the container yards to be equipped with engines manufactured in 1994 or later.
Some of the diesel rigs that regularly enter the SPA terminals are several decades old, the high-emission culprits that the program seeks to reduce. “By implementing this program, we achieve a reduction in the air quality impacts resulting from an older truck fleet, and modernize the over-the-road equipment just as we are doing on terminal with newer equipment,” said Jim Newsome, chief executive officer of the SPA. “The Clean Truck Certification program is the next step in our well-established, common sense port-related emissions reductions strategy.”
The program is a continuation of the replacement program SPA launched in 2011 for short-haul drivers who travel back and forth from SPA terminals to replace their old polluting engines. The replacement program offers incentives of $5,000 plus scrap value to truck owners who agree to upgrade their truck engines to a newer model. SPA officials said the program has received about $1 million, which has helped to replace 84 older trucks over the last two years.
“As truckers and residents of the Lowcountry, we seek to provide motor carrier service using the most fuel efficient and cleanest burning trucks possible,” said Keith Johnson, President of the Charleston Motor Carriers Association. “We support the Clean Truck Program and the opportunity it gives our members to upgrade their truck engines. This is a positive initiative both for our industry and for the environment.”
Registration Website: cleantruck.scspa.com
For media questions about the program, contact Erin Pabst at 843-577-8121.
For driver inquiries, please contact Patrick Moore at 843-577-8175.