Just under $1 million in Diesel Emissions Reduction Act funds will go to the Houston-Galveston Area Council. The project will retrofit three aging tug boats and harbor craft operating between Houston-Galveston and Corpus Christi with cleaner engine technology.
The Port of Houston Authority will receive a further $940,000 as part of a fuel-switching project for ocean-going vessels. Gloria Vaughn is an environmental scientist with EPA Region 6.
“Basically what we have them do is they switch out from a ‘dirtier’ fuel to a cleaner fuel twenty miles outside of the Houston area, so when they come in, they won’t bring in as much pollution with them.”
Diesel exhaust carries high concentrations of particulate matter, which can cause heart and lung damage. The Greater Houston area has received $20 million in EPA grants since the emissions reduction program began in 2008. The program is at risk of losing its funding as part of congressional budget negotiations.