Norfolk – The Green Goat and the 64 Express barge service recently received recognition in The Good Haul, Innovations That Improve Freight Transportation and Protect the Environment, an annual report published by the Environmental Defense Fund.
"Several players within the freight movement sector have taken steps to reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants," said the report's authors Carrie Denning and Camille Kustin in its introduction. "This report aims to showcase these leaders, highlighting innovative programs that are environmentally, economically and socially effective but not yet universally adopted."
The Green Goat is a battery-dominant hybrid diesel locomotive that was purchased by the VPA in October 2008 to replace a 1970s-vintage diesel engine. The Green Goat cuts emissions of particulate matter pollutants by as much as 90 percent and is responsible for saving $58,000 in annual fuel costs. The ultra-low emission locomotive is used in the rail operation at Norfolk International Terminals. (Two more low-emission locomotives are on order.)
The 64 Express, a barge service started in 2008 by the James River Barge Line, connects the marine terminals in Hampton Roads with the Port of Richmond. The tugs in the service burn ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and are outfitted with modern, low-emission diesel engines. Additionally, the barge service helps to reduce highway congestion by taking trucks off the road, mainly I-64.
The report focused on three primary freight modes: trucking, rail and ships and outlined case studies and best practices in each category. Each case was evaluated on environmental benefits, co-benefits and economic benefits.
"This report provides examples of real-world freight transportation innovations that can help the economy, create and support good jobs and reduce environmental impacts," the introduction said in its closing.