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Ports Initiative

About EPA Ports Initiative

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Ports are critical for commerce, a keystone for economic growth, and play a significant role in the goods movement supply chain. Investing in port infrastructure and operations is vital to America’s economic prosperity. These investments also provide enormous opportunities for environmental gains. The many people who live near ports and work at ports can be exposed to levels of air pollution that contribute to significant health problems. Findings from the 2016 EPA National Port Strategy Assessment confirm that there are effective air quality improvement strategies available today for every type and size of port.

Through this ports partnership initiative, EPA supports efforts to improve efficiency, enhance energy security, save costs, and reduce harmful health impacts by advancing next-generation, clean technologies and practices at ports. We also facilitate collaboration between the port industry, communities, and all levels of government to help ensure timely and effective infrastructure development.

EPA’s efforts are responsive to September 2016 recommendations from leading port industry, community, and government experts. These experts participated in a two-year public process to advise EPA on designing a voluntary program to improve air quality around ports.


People living and working near ports across the country will breathe cleaner air and live better lives as a result of bold steps taken through a collaboration of industry, government and communities to improve environmental performance and increase economic prosperity.


The long-term Ports Initiative goal is for U.S. ports to become global leaders in clean, efficient freight and passenger transportation. Ongoing actions outlined in the initiative elements are laying the groundwork for achieving both the long-term goal and the vision.

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Elements of Initiative

The Ports Initiative consists of five key elements noted below and depicted in the graphic below.An Overview of the Ports Initiative


Funding IconFunding – Helping Ports Capitalize on Funding for Clean Technologies

Assist port stakeholders in finding and capitalizing on funding opportunities throughout all levels of government.  Funding types include the following: grants, cooperative agreements, bonds,  apportionments, loans, rebates, incentives, and settlements.

Technical Resources Icon

Technical Resources – Providing Tools to Help Identify Smart Infrastructure Investments

Provide measurement tools, guidance, and technical assistance that can help identify the best clean air investments.


Collaboration IconCollaboration – Promoting Port-Community Collaboration for Effective Planning

Promote port-community collaboration to prioritize and advance clean air projects.


Coordination IconCoordination – Increasing Efficiency in Federal Government and Port Operations

Align federal port-related activities to achieve efficiencies, reduce costs, and better assist port industry, communities, and state/local governments.


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Communications – Creating a Knowledge Clearinghouse

Create a one-stop web resource for the port industry, communities, and all levels of government on best practices, funding, and other resources.

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