Alexandria – The Virginia Port Authority's (VPA) Green Operator, or "GO," program is the recipient of this year's Environmental Enhancement Award from the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), a trade group representing leading port authorities throughout the Western Hemisphere.
GO is a voluntary diesel engine retrofit and replacement initiative aimed at reducing emissions coming from privately-owned big rigs serving The Port of Virginia. The program, which began in 2007, helps truck owners – individuals and firms – securing financing to either upgrade the emissions systems of older trucks or completely replace the unit.
"We're committed to improving the air quality at our facilities and this program is part of a larger overall environmental commitment we've made to this community," said Heather Wood, the VPA's environmental affairs director. "GO has been embraced by the trucking community and we're flattered to have been recognized on a national level."
Since its inception GO will be responsible for retrofitting or replacing 350 trucks by the end of 2011, removing 20 percent of total air emissions (carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter) generated by diesel trucks serving the port.
AAPA selected 22 seaports to be recognized for exemplary projects, programs and initiatives at its annual awards event later this summer. The awards, for achievements in facilities engineering, environmental improvement, information technology and communications, will be presented to winning ports at a Sept. 14 luncheon in conjunction with AAPA's 100th Annual Convention in Seattle (https://www.aapa2011.org/main.aspx), which runs Sept. 11-15.