EPA's SmartWay Transport Partnership Aims To Reduce Pollution

June 22, 2007
Ground freight contributes 40% of transportation related emissions of NOx and 30% of particulate matter emissions.

The SmartWay Transport Partnership is an innovative collaboration between the U.S. EPA and the freight industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gases and air pollution. The partners are commercial, industrial and public sector organizations.

Moving freight accounts for 20% of all energy consumed in transportation sector. Trucks carry about 66% of all freight shipped in the U.S., while rail carries about 16% (water, pipeline, and air transport account for the rest.) Together, truck and rail transport now consume over 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel each year.

However, burning all of this fuel comes with a cost as fuel is wasted due to inefficient practices such as excessive idling and using trucks with poor aerodynamic design. That wasted fuel increases emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the most prevalent greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases create a gaseous "blanket" that prevents ultraviolet rays from leaving the earth's atmosphere, resulting in a "greenhouse," or warming, effect, which is a major part of global climate change.

Consuming 35 billion gallons of diesel fuel produces over 350 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.

Burning this fuel also produces nitrogen oxides (NOx), a contributor to ozone formation, or "smog," and particulate matter -- two air pollutants that have serious health and environmental impacts. Ground freight contributes 40% of transportation related emissions of NOx and 30% of particulate matter emissions.

For a list of the partners in the program, each of whom have a fuel efficiency performance score, visit: http://www.epa.gov/smartway/partners.htm

SmartWay Transport Partnership

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