Port seeks nearly $95 million U.S. EPA grant to advance environmental programs

The Port of Cleveland has already proven to be an environmental leader by being the first port on the Great Lakes with a Climate Action Plan. They are now hoping to take that to the next level by pursuing a nearly $95 million U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant that will help make it one of the most sustainable maritime shipping operations on the Great Lakes. The grant is part of the $3 billion EPA Clean Ports Program, which is designed to fund sustainable infrastructure and electric equipment at U.S. Ports.

Carly Beck, the Port’s senior manager of planning, environment and information systems, said this is the largest grant application the Port has ever submitted. “The EPA is looking for really large and robust ideas and have set a minimum project ask of $10 million,’’ she said. “These grants are to cover 90 percent of costs and only require a 10 percent match.”

The Port’s application proposes a public-private partnership with Logistec USA Inc. – the general cargo and bulk terminal operator – and Great Lakes Towing – the owner and operator of the tugboats that service the Port. The grant funds would be used for warehouse rooftop solar and associated battery energy storage systems, electric cargo handling equipment, shore power for vessels to plug in while at berth, and the construction of two new electric tugboats.

The grant program, if fully funded, would reduce the Port’s maritime CO2 emissions by roughly 40%.

A decision on the grant awards is expected in September.