When we think diesel emissions we usually picture black smoke billowing from a truck or school bus. While that unfortunately occurs quite often, a significant amount of diesel pollution in Allegheny County comes from river vessels.
A Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grant awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency in July of 2010 will help to reduce diesel pollution from our three rivers — cutting five tons of particulate matter, 112 tons of nitrous oxide, 15 tons of carbon monoxide, and two tons of hydrocarbons in our air.
The more than $1.1 million grant was awarded to the Port of Pittsburgh Commission to oversee the extensive repowering of four marine towing vessels (8 engines) with new, more fuel efficient diesel engines and generators that will reduce air pollution. The Port of Pittsburgh and three private participating companies (Campbell Transportation Company, Consol Energy and River Salvage, Inc.) more than matched the EPA’s grant with their own $1.97 million.
The Port of Pittsburgh is considered the second busiest inland port in the U.S., moving 30 to 40 million tons of cargo a year.