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Healthy Port Communities Coalition Letter of Support for Port Houston’s PORT SHIFT Application

Public Citizen is a member of the Healthy Port Communities Coalition

HPCC Letter of Support for Port Houston's PORT SHIFT Application

Administrator Michael S. Regan
United States Environmental Protection Agency 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460

RE: Clean Ports Program Proposal

Dear Administrator Regan:
We write to express our support for the Port of Houston Authority’s (Port Houston’s) 2024 Ports Optimizing Resilient Transportation through Sustainable, Human, Innovative, and Forward-looking Technology (PORT SHIFT) program.

The Healthy Port Communities Coalition (HPCC) is a coalition of nonprofit, community-driven organizations that work to create a healthier Houston by empowering residents to recognize local issues and advocate for their communities. This grant, if awarded, will provide reduced emissions, community education and benefits and improved route efficiency.

Initiatives like these are answers to EPA’s ~$3 billion grant program to fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure as well as climate and air quality planning at U.S. ports. PORT SHIFT, a Port Houston program is asking EPA for ~$348 million on behalf of the port and their partners who are jointly contributing ~$87 million for a total project cost of ~$435 million.

The PORT SHIFT applications to EPA are in two parts:

  1. HOUSTON’s PORT SHIFT for zero-emission technology deployment includes deploying up to two hundred and fifty (250) zero-emission trucks, twenty (20) pieces of cargo handling equipment, associated hydrogen fueling and electric charging infrastructure, two workforce development programs supporting needed skills for new technology deployment, and shore power readiness at two (2) wharves at the Bayport Container Terminal.
  2. Houston’s PORT SHIFT for climate and air quality planning includes a community-port outreach campaign program to engage low-income and disadvantaged near-Port Houston communities in port region: climate action planning, internships for port side community residents, workforce engagement, a port-reflective community advisory board, organizational capacity building and tools for more self-directed decisions impacting their land, environment, and quality of life. The program also includes an enhanced emission inventory, a truck outreach program, and a Port- area energy capacity-demand analysis.

Should US EPA select this project for a Clean Ports Program award, Healthy Port Communities Coalition will support this program’s proper integration and work with the Port in plans for continued execution of PORT SHIFT.

Healthy Port Communities Coalition (HPCC)