Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air has honored the region’s top air quality leaders, including the Ports of Indiana (POI).
Four awards were presented for voluntary actions taken to improve air quality during 2021. The winners were selected from among nominations submitted to the Partners for Clean Air Steering Committee earlier this year.
The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor received the Industrial Award for multiple clean air projects undertaken by the port and its tenants in 2020. POI secured funding through the Indiana Office of Energy Development’s grant program to add an all-electric security vehicle to its operations in Burns Harbor. The port also received grant funding through the Indiana Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund grant program for the installation of an electric vehicle charging station.
“Partners for Clean Air congratulates the Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor and encourages others to follow their example by taking voluntary action to support clean air,” said Charles Breitenfeldt, Northwest Indiana Partners for Clean Air coordinator for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Breitenfeldt presented the award to Ryan McCoy, port director, and Nick Harper, operations manager.
“We appreciate South Shore Clean Cities for nominating us and are grateful for the recognition of our concerted efforts to support clean air at our ports,” said Vanta E. Coda II, chief executive officer of Ports of Indiana. “We will continue to advance environmental values and reduce our carbon footprint whenever possible to maintain our world-class port system.”
Green Marine Certification
All three of its port locations once again received the Green Marine certification in 2020, the first statewide port authority to achieve such distinction. Green Marine is the leading environmental certification program for North America’s maritime transportation industry. The voluntary initiative strives to surpass regulatory requirements in measurable ways in key areas such as greenhouse gases and air pollutants, spill prevention, dry bulk handling and storage, community impact, storm water and waste management and underwater noise.
Additionally, many port tenants have converted equipment from diesel to electric hybrid vehicles. The port officials and volunteers planted hundreds of deciduous and coniferous trees at the port to help reduce stormwater runoff, prevent fugitive dust and increase biodiversity. In 2022, the port will open a six-acre truck marshalling yard where drivers can turn off the trucks and rest in an enclosed reception area while waiting to unload/load freight.
“The Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor enjoys collaborating with and encouraging our tenants to continue the implementation of sustainable practices,” McCoy said. “It’s a win-win for all involved.”
Caption for photo: Charles Breitenfeldt, Partners for Clean Air coordinator, and Scott Nelson, board member for Partners for Clean Air, present Ryan McCoy, Burns Harbor port director, and Nick Harper, operations manager, with the Industrial Award. Photo courtesy of Ports of Indiana)