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With the cost of fuel continuing to place an enormous burden on business, SmartWay Transport, a voluntary partnership between various freight industry sectors and the Environmental Protection Agency, is certainly timely. SmartWay Transport establishes incentives for fuel efficiency improvements and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. By 2012, this initiative aims to reduce between 33 to 66 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and up to 200,000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions per year. At the same time, the initiative is expected to save up to 150 million barrels of oil a year. There are three primary components of the program: creating partnerships, reducing all unnecessary engine idling, and increasing the efficiency and use of rail and intermodal operations.
Partnerships are the foundation of the SmartWay Transport Program, and the EPA welcomes any company or organization that will improve the environmental performance of their freight operations. Key partners are companies that ship products, and the truck and rail providers they rely on. Partners commit to measure and improve the efficiency of their freight operations, using EPA-developed tools that quantify the benefits of a number of fuel-saving strategies.
Another component of the partnership is to eliminate unnecessary truck and rail idling along major transportation corridors: truck stops, travel centers, distribution hubs, rail switch yards, borders and ports.
A third component of the partnership is to highlight practical opportunities where rail can be better utilized and to encourage more efficient rail operations and technical innovation.
To increase energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, all seven major North American freight railroads have joined SmartWay. These Class 1 freight railroads transport more than 90 percent of all domestic rail freight. Each railroad has committed to evaluate the environmental impacts of its operations and work jointly with the EPA to develop and implement a plan to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions over the next several years.
Each railroad will develop a plan to identify fuel savings and emission reduction strategies. Strategies include reducing idling, improving aerodynamics, applying new fuel-saving technologies, and installing emissions control devices.
The SmartWay Transport Partnership was launched in February 2004. The program includes major freight shippers, trucking companies, railroads, and logistics companies.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.
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