The Good Haul, a new report from the Environmental Defense Fund, highlights case studies of innovative technologies and practices that simultaneously modernize freight transportation and reduce freight movement's health and environmental impacts. Employing these and other innovations like them on a broader scale can help create a cleaner, more efficient 21st Century freight system in the United States, EDF says.
EDF calls on Congress to include comprehensive funding policies for this purpose in the upcoming transportation reauthorization bill. "This report provides a road map for modernizing the U.S. freight system, making it more reliable and faster, and reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution," says Kathryn Phillips, director of the California Transportation and Air Initiative at EDF. "House and Senate committees writing the transportation bill should ensure funding for freight improvement delivers environmental benefits too. This report shows it can be done."
Some of the case studies highlighted in the report include: the CREATE program in Chicago, which aims to reduce congestion and improve air quality by streamlining four major rail lines; The Clean Air Action Plan at the Port of Los Angeles, launched in 2006, which cleans up all areas of port activity; BNSF Railway's installation of four electric wide-span, rail-mounted gantry cranes at the Seattle International Gateway (SIG) intermodal facility; the Port of Virginia's Green Goat hybrid yard switcher; SeaBridge freight, a coastal shipping service between Port Manatee, Florida and Brownsville, Texas; Germany's Toll Collect, a distance-based GPS truck tolling system, with a category for engine emissions; and a battery-powered locomotive now being tested by Norfolk Southern, which would produce zero on-site emissions with costs comparable to diesel-powered locomotives.
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