EPA gives SmartWay objectives an airing
Feb 24, 2004 12:00 PM, By Sean Kilcarr
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is setting some major short- and long-term goals for its new SmartWay Transport Partnership in an effort to reduce both fuel consumption and pollution levels generated by trucking companies. At the same time, companies are getting a marketing tool to help them grow their business.
'By October of this year, we'd like to see between 100 and 200 companies in the program, which looks pretty likely, since 52 have already signed up since we introduced SmartWay February 9," said Mitch Greenberg, the program's manager.
Long-term, EPA wants SmartWay to help eliminate between 33 million and 66 million metric tons of carbon monoxide by 2012 from the nation's truck freight transportation network.
"That translates into reducing diesel fuel use by six billion gallons at the high end of that projection," Greenberg said.
He added that any trucking company is eligible to join the SmartWay programÑfrom single truck owner-operators to large national carriers. To join, trucking participants have six months to design an "action plan" that demonstrates reduced fuel consumption and pollution production outside of the low-emission diesel engines now required by law for almost all commercial trucks.
"We're looking for tangible strategies such as greater use of truck and trailer aerodynamics, reduced engine idling, speed management policies, even logistics and routing plans that save emissions and reduce fuel use," Greenberg said. "We also want updates from them annually so we can make sure they are meeting their targets."
The benefit to fleets comes from the involvement of shippers that agree to use SmartWay-approved carriers to haul their freight.
"It's an overused clichŽ at this point, but this really is a win-win for everyone," said Greenberg. "We get fleets to cut emissions and fuel use, while the fleets get a marketing opportunity to gain more business from shippers. It's a rare opportunity where business plans and environmental plans are working in the same direction."
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