The Port of Jacksonville has received a $585,000 federal grant to install diesel oxidation catalysts on container cranes to improve the air quality in and around the port, according to information on the port's Website.
The money was awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Diesel Emission Reduction Program through a direct allocation to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which then selects projects to support. The Florida DEP grant is from a prior year allocation.
The EPA also awards money to applicants for clean diesel projects.
In October, the EPA awarded $30 million for clean diesel projects
around the country such as replacing, retrofitting or re-powering older diesel-powered engines in vessels, locomotives, trucks and buses. The Alabama State Port Authority, for example, received $1.35 million to repower two locomotives; the Port of Long Beach, in California, received $1.34 million to replace five yard tractors and retrofit 11 rubber-tired gantry cranes with diesel particulate filters; and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District won $900,000 to replace 22 Class 8 drayage trucks with older engines.
The EPA has provided more than 520 direct grants to eligible groups worth $550 million since Congress began funding DERA in 2008.
The newer engines and filters are designed to produce fewer nitrogen oxides and particulate matter, which are linked to health problems such as asthma, lung and heart disease, and premature death.
The Jacksonville Port Authority said the oxidation catalysts for cranes at its Talleyrand and Blount Island terminals will reduce emissions by 10 tons per year, including cuts of 50 percent for hydrocarbons, 20 percent for particulate matter and 30 percent for carbon monoxide.
Jacksonville is only the second port in Florida to receive funds through the EPA program, it said.
Installation of the diesel emission technology on the crane exhaust systems is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. - Eric Kulisch