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Port Houston awarded $26.9 million to reduce air pollution by trucks

Port Houston

Posted on May 6, 2024

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration announced that Texas was awarded a $26.9 million grant for the Port Houston new clean truck program to help reduce air emissions. Port Houston’s CLEANSTACS Program (Catalyzing Lower Emissions with Alliances and New Systems in Trucking and Community Sustainability) was one of fewer than 20 projects selected nationwide.

“This project represents an ambitious program for Port Houston, and another step toward cleaner air quality for the region, and achieving our 2050 carbon neutral goal,” said Port Houston Chairman Ric Campo. “The availability of these funds will help reduce barriers for small trucking fleets, a true win-win-win for our local community, our truckers, and our port.” Prior to this program, many truck owners were unable to afford the high upfront costs to purchase zero-emission equipment.

The program will help fund 30 new zero-emission (ZE) short-haul trucks, and portable electric chargers for battery electric vehicle trucks, to make zero-emission technology accessible and more affordable to owners and operators of small trucking fleets. The funds will also pay for installing new automated terminal operating systems to help reduce truck idling times.

“When truckers spend hours idling at ports, it is bad for drivers, bad for supply chains, and bad for nearby communities that feel the brunt of more polluted air,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The investments we are announcing today will save truck drivers time and money and help ports reduce congestion and emissions, while making the air more breathable for workers and communities.”

“The announcement of this first-of-its-kind investment is pivotal in reducing air emissions across our region,” Chairman Campo added. “I would like to thank our Congressional delegation for supporting and advocating for this project. We could not have done it without them.”

Port Houston will use its portion of the grant to subsidize replacement of existing drayage trucks with new ZE trucks, which can cost upwards of $400,000 -$500,000. Fleet owners are responsible for covering 20% of the cost, and both electric and hydrogen fuel-cell trucks are eligible.

This project also includes a workforce training component: Port Houston is teaming up with a local community college to develop three mechanics training courses. These courses will equip both the current and future generations with the skills to work on new ZE fleets.

Of the $26.9 million grant, $25.1 million will help jumpstart the CLEANSTACS first phase, which includes 30 new zero-emission drayage trucks, 15 anti-idling devices for existing trucks, a regional truck study to help reduce traffic through port communities, including Galena Park and Pleasantville, and public engagement and community education for the new technologies available in goods movement. The 30 new ZE trucks are scheduled to be deployed by the end of 2025.

Jacintoport International, LLC will receive $1.8 million of the funding to install new terminal operating systems at its facility along the Houston Ship Channel. Truck idling time at the gates is expected to be reduced by at least 10 minutes.


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