Wednesday, July 28, 2010
A new diesel project will improve air quality along the city's rivers. The Port of Pittsburgh Commission will oversee the installation of eight new, cleaner burning diesel engines in four tug boats. The initiative will be funded by a $1.1 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Diesel Emission Reduction Grant and nearly $2 million from the Port and three private businesses. David Arnold with the Air Protection Division of the EPA says old diesel engines can last for decades, so replacing them to help clean the air and environment in ports both at sea and inland is an important issue for the EPA. He says the new engines will burn between 70-90% cleaner than the ones they're replacing. Annually, the engines will eliminate more than 112 tons of nitrous oxide, 15 tons of carbon monoxide and five tons of particulate matter. In a release, James McCarville, Executive Director of the Port of Pittsburgh Commission says "each tow of 15 barges moves the equivalent of more than 1,000 trucks...Just by taking trucks off the roads, we serve industries that could not be located here without the waterways." The Port of Pittsburgh is the second busiest inland port in the county, moving 30-40 million tons of cargo each year.