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Governor Cooper Joins US EPA Administrator Michael Regan to Announce Clean Ports Program

Gov. Cooper joined United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan in Wilmington to announce the EPA’s Clean Ports Program, which includes $3 billion of federal money to fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure, along with climate and air quality planning, at U.S. ports. The investment will improve air quality at ports and surrounding communities, help combat climate change and support meaningful community engagement.

“Our country’s ports feed our supply chains to put food on our tables, keep our businesses running and provide for our everyday needs,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “We are deeply grateful to the Biden Administration for the investments that have helped fix our supply chain, rebuild our infrastructure, reduce pollution and create thousands of good paying clean energy jobs.”

This historic federal funding is provided by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. The objectives of the Clean Ports Program are to:

  1. Build a foundation for the port sector to transition over time to fully zero-emissions operations, positioning ports to serve as a catalyst for transformation change across the freight sector.

  2. Reduce diesel pollution (criteria pollutants, GHGs, and air toxics) in near-port communities, especially those with environmental justice concerns.

  3. Help ensure that meaningful community engagement and emissions reduction planning are port industry standard practices.

Governor Cooper’s administration is committed to rebuilding an efficient supply chain that can quickly and affordably move goods from ship to shelf. State investments include the Carolina Connector, which opened in Rocky Mount in November 2021 as the result of a public private partnership between the State of North Carolina and CSX Corporation and enables the quick movement of containers within the intermodal rail network and connects the Port of Wilmington and eastern U.S. ports to their final destinations. This service provides an essential intermodal capability of expediting shipping containers to the Midwest while reducing customer freight transportation costs and emissions. The facility features three zero-emission cranes that can lift over 100,000 containers per year.

The Wilmington Midwest Express, also launched in November 2021, provides daily commercial freight rail service between the Port of Wilmington to Chicago and Northwest Ohio. Investments in freight rail help ship goods across the nation while reducing carbon emissions from trucks.

The opportunities available through the Clean Ports Program will help North Carolina’s state ports remain the most productive in North America.

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