EPA grant for New Orleans retrofit

locomotive The EPA grant will provide 40% of the total cost of the engine retrofit. Credit: Port NOLA

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a National Clean Diesel Funding grant to the Port of New Orleans (Port NOLA) and project partner, the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad (NOPB) to help retrofit the engine of a conventional diesel locomotive for a low-emission output beyond current requirements.

This eco-locomotive, the first locomotive of its kind in the New Orleans gateway, will meet ultra-low emitting standards (Tier 4) and result in immediate air quality benefits such as reducing ozone precursors, diesel particulate matter, as well as fuel consumption and corresponding greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA grant will provide 40% of the total cost of the retrofit, which NOPB will carry out.

“EPA’s clean diesel grants fund cleaner, more efficient transportation to help protect the environment and keep our economy growing,” said EPA regional administrator Anne Idsal.

Aligned work

The retrofit of the locomotive will begin in Spring 2019, and once completed, will be officially dedicated for use on the NOPB system, which serves Port Nola. NOPB transitioned from the City of New Orleans to Port NOLA leadership in February 2018.

“With Port NOLA and NOPB now fully aligned, we are able to make strategic investments that provide air quality benefits for the community while providing superior service to our users and Class I partners,” noted Brandy D. Christian, CEO of NOPB and president and CEO of Port NOLA. “Port NOLA’s commitment to sustainability drove the decision to apply for this EPA grant and we look forward to seeing the eco-locomotive on our system.”

NOPB and Port NOLA have each piloted other innovative emissions reduction initiatives, including the Port of New Orleans Clean Truck Replacement Incentive Program (Clean TRIP) and NOPB’s locomotive idle reduction plan, as a part of their respective strategic plans. As partners, they are working together to foster programs that address both the maritime and rail space.

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