Environmental Protection Agency Launches $3 Billion Clean Ports Program to Cut Diesel Freight Pollution


Larisa Manescu, larisa.manescu@sierraclub.org

WILMINGTON, NC -  Today, the Environmental Protection Agency announced its $3 billion Clean Ports Program funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, intended to address diesel engines at ports and freight hubs across the country.

The application starts today and is open for 90 days until May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.

Freight pollution from boats idling in the harbor, to the diesel trucks that haul cargo away, to the locomotives that utilize the port’s rail network, all spew toxic pollution harming surrounding communities every day. While ports are important hubs for the movement of goods, communities living near them have been treated as sacrifice zones due to little regulation. 

Research has shown that diesel pollution contains more than 40 cancer-causing substances, including benzene and formaldehyde, linking it to asthma, heart disease, and premature death. Electrification of boats, trucks, locomotives, and port equipment can help improve this environmental injustice. 

“California has some of the busiest ports in the country hurting the health of millions of our residents. The Clean Ports Program will provide relief for port communities who live with this daily toxic pollution, and we urge the EPA to make sure communities are a part of the process as ports apply for funding,” said Sierra Club California Regional Manager Yassi Kavezade. “Cleaner ports means cleaner air, better public health, and climate justice.” 

“We continue to see vast clean transportation benefits moving out of the Inflation Reduction Act. Ports are a lesser talked about topic within the transportation sector – cleaning them up is crucial work,” said Katherine García, director of Sierra Club’s Clean Transportation for All campaign. “This EPA program builds on the Department of Transportation’s ports program with necessary zero-emission investments that will bring significant health and air quality benefits.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.