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Pittsburgh Coalition Receives Federal Grant to Study Marine Air Quality

Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities (PRCC) recently announced that its western Pennsylvania coalition, Clean Fuels Clean Rivers (CFCR), received a $730,000 grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to conduct a demonstration project to monitor and reduce diesel emissions from marine vessels.

The Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance Program (META) grant awarded to the CFCR coalition is the first-ever awarded by the federal government, specifically targeting the marine community operating on the Nation’s inland rivers.

The coalition will convert a harbor towboat to burn LNG as its fuel source, monitoring the emissions before and after. The project will require developing the technology to support the LNG conversion and the emissions monitoring. The CFCR goal is to research and develop the technology to allow marine operators to use a clean burning alternative to diesel. This in turn allows them to meet new EPA emission requirements and reduce environmental impact to the inland waterways.

The PRCC collaborated with Life Cycle Engineering, Walden Industries, MANE Resources, and Clipper Enterprises to submit the grant proposal to MARAD. The Shearer Group, UGI Energy Services, and West Virginia University will join the demonstration project effort.

An additional benefit of the project is the educational outreach effort that will take place with the marine community, regulatory agencies, first responders, and college and high school programs. The CFCR coalition anticipates the towboat demonstration project will take 24 months. Upon conclusion, the coalition will publish a final report and share it with the marine community.