PortViews

Truck Replacement Program Receives an Extension Approval From EPA

Due to overwhelming interest -- and a commensurate surge in applications -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey applied for and received an extension to expend grant monies awarded to the popular Truck Replacement Program (TRP) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The TRP provides truck owners with financial incentives to replace their older vehicles with cleaner, safer, and more fuel-efficient trucks.

"Originally, we received a $7 million grant from EPA to replace trucks with engines Model Year 1993 and older," says Atef Ahmed, a manager with the Port Authority's environmental and waterways team. "The program was a success in that we captured the target population of trucks with 1993 and older engines. Since we still had funds left over, in January of 2011, we asked EPA if we could begin accepting applications to replace trucks engine year 2003 and older. EPA approved our request in March 2011 and, shortly thereafter, our Board authorized us to implement the expanded eligibility. Almost immediately after we announced the change, we saw a tremendous upsurge in applications."

Thanks to the TRP, Independent Owner Operators and Licensed Motor Carriers are already enjoying the use of a newer, cleaner and more efficient truck, while serving the Port of NY & NJ. To date, the TRP has committed over $1 million in grant funds and replaced more than 100 drayage trucks with newer, cleaner vehicles.

"This extension until September 30, 2012 enables us not only to accommodate the upsurge in applications, which together will commit over half of the roughly $6 million in remaining grant funds, but also to provide truck owners more time to participate in the TRP," says William Nurthen, general manager of the PA's port environmental and waterways development programs.

"Our goal is cleaner air for those that work at the Port and live in communities near the Port. This recent surge in applications makes it clear that the port community has embraced the Port Authority's goal," says Rick Larrabee, director of the Port Authority's Port Commerce Department. "We're thankful for their support, as well as the support shown by our colleagues at EPA."

To participate in the TRP, the applicant must meet the following guidelines:

  • Own a port drayage truck (Class 8, gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 33,001 lbs or higher) equipped with engine Model Year 2003 or older,
  • Call regularly at Port Authority's marine terminals, and
  • Possess a valid registration, driver's license and current vehicle insurance.

Qualified participants in the TRP receive a grant for up to 25 percent of the cost of the replacement truck, which must be equipped with a Model Year 2004 or newer EPA emissions-compliant engine. They may also be eligible for low-interest (5.25 percent over five years) financing to pay the remaining 75 percent of the replacement truck cost.

Mr. Larrabee notes that the TRP may also provide truck owners a cost-effective way to achieve the emission reduction goals of the EPA SmartWay Drayage Partnership. In this program, SmartWay shipper partners commit to ship 75% of their port cargo with SmartWay drayage carriers, while SmartWay drayage partners commit to track emissions and achieve specified emission reduction goals. SmartWay drayage partners that desire to replace their older trucks in order to achieve these emission reduction goals may be able to take advantage of the financial incentives offered by the TRP.

For more information, contact the Truck Replacement Center (TRC) at 877-309-1680 or visit the center's website at www.replacemytruck.org. The TRC is located at 1180 McLester Street, Suite 8 (near the SeaLink office), Express-Port Plaza, in the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal, in Elizabeth NJ. The TRC is open Monday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please check the TRC schedule regularly in order to have the latest hours of operation. The TRC is staffed with bilingual advisors.

Port Community Loses a Friend, Gains a Legend

The Port of New York and New Jersey celebrates the life and career of John M. Bowers, longtime International President of the 50,000-members strong International Longshoremen's Association (ILA), AFL-CIO. Mr. Bowers passed away on August 21st at his home in Nassau County, Long Island. He was 88 years old.

Rick Larrabee, director of the Port Authority's port commerce department, said "From my perspective, John Bowers embodied our port – its dynamism, its vitality, and its growth. His passing truly marks the end of an era."

Bowers was elected as the seventh international president in the ILA's century-plus history in July 1987, having previously served as ILA Executive Vice President for 24 years. He served nearly 50 years as President of ILA Local 824. Mr. Bowers is widely credited among ILA employers for bringing stability and growth to the industry during his tenure.

In 1991, he founded the ILA's groundbreaking Civil Rights Committee, a body dedicated to bringing equity and fairness to all workplaces. For his efforts, Ms. Coretta Scott King of the Martin Luther King Center honored Mr. Bowers and the entire ILA by inviting him serve as Grand Marshal of the 1994 Martin Luther King Day Parade in Atlanta.

In 1960, Bowers established the ILA Local 824 Scholarship a programs for ILA dependents (later renamed the Michael Bowers Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of Bowers' father). As ILA President, he served as the labor co-chairman for the NYSA-ILA Teddy Gleason Scholarship Program. In 1993, Bowers established the ILA Children's Fund, and named the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut as the principal beneficiary, raising more than $2 million to benefit children with cancer and life-threatening illnesses.

For his dedication to the port industry and to labor, Bowers was honored by numerous organizations, including as the 1992 recipient of the United Seamen's Service Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award, the maritime industry's top honor. He also received a 1994 Connie Award from the Containerization and Intermodal Institute, a Golden Compass Award (presented by the Seafarer's House at Port Everglades) and induction into the International Maritime Hall of Fame by the Maritime Association, Port of New York and New Jersey, to name just a few.

A native of Manhattan, Mr. Bowers was highly decorated for his service as a radio operator for the U.S. Army's Fourth Armored Division, stationed in Europe in World War II. His unit won a Presidential citation and five battle stars. He is survived by his wife, Marcy; his two children, John and Christine, and granddaughter, Meagan.

Remembering John Bowers

John Bowers
JOHN BOWERS (1923-2011)

  • "The ILA family and the entire labor movement today has lost one of its most outstanding and important figures," said Harold Daggett, ILA President, on the day of Mr. Bowers' passing. "John Bowers helped shape this ILA into one of the most successful unions. Our respect throughout the country and around the world is a tribute to [him]."
  • "He was a giant," says Jim Devine, President of New York Container Terminal. "A consummate labor leader who looked after the well being of his own people as well as the industry they served. It was my pleasure to deal with him directly for years."
  • "During his tenure as international President, he made incredible progress toward the union's collective bargaining position. But he also instituted changes that benefitted the employers. His tenure as President was a period of renewal for the port," says Brian Maher, formerly of Maher Terminals.
  • "Years ago, I had the honor of introducing John as Man of the Year for the National Maritime Safety Association," says Joe Curto, President of the New York Shipping Association. "I said he was one of the finest men I'd come to know in the maritime business, and I didn't have to work for those words. He was a tough negotiator, but a fair man, and I always respected him very much."

Hey, Shipper, Speak Up

The following article by Don Pisano, Vice president of American Coffee Corp., was run in the August 22nd edition of The Journal of Commerce (2011, V12, No. 31). It has been reprinted here by permission.

Read the Article

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