Charleston takes center stage in new effort to green America's ports

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- This week Environmental Protection Agency leaders will be in the Lowcountry to help introduce a new national green port effort.

Port officials say Tuesday's event at the Wando Terminal will launch the SmartWay Dray Truck Initiative to Reduce Port Emissions. The partnership is geared toward slashing pollution from thousands of trucks in port communities across the country.

Officials say the initiative will focus on reducing harmful diesel emissions from dray trucks -- which are large diesel trucks that are widely used at ports to haul freight from cargo ships to local distribution points. Many dray trucks in use at ports are older and dirtier than trucks used on highways, and contribute to air quality concerns.

SmartWay Transport Partnership is EPAs highly successful partnership with freight industry, to green the nations supply chain.

A SPA spokesperson says the effort is an excellent complement to strides the port has already made to reduce port-related air emissions.

State Port's Authority officials, industry leaders, environmental groups and EPA are all the expected to be hand for the event.