FAA Awards Environmental Grant to Portland

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a $331,653 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant to Portland International Airport to reduce emissions and improve air quality by using alternative fuel vehicles at the airport through the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) program.

The grant will provide funds to purchase six compressed natural gas buses that transport airport passengers and employees from the terminal to parking and rental car facilities. This project is part of the airport’s program to minimize vehicle emissions within the airport footprint.

VALE is designed to reduce sources of airport ground emissions in areas of marginal air quality. The FAA implemented the program in 2005 to help airport sponsors meet their air quality responsibilities under the Clean Air Act. Through VALE, airport sponsors can use Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds and passenger facility charges to acquire low-emission vehicles, refueling and recharging stations, gate electrification, and other airport-related air quality improvements.

huerta_3.jpg “We applaud Portland International Airport’s efforts to become a better steward of the environment,” FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta (shown at right) said. “This project will allow the airport to realize immediate emission-reduction benefits for the airport and surrounding communities.”

Through VALE, airports have reduced ozone emissions by approximately 466 tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 26,000 cars and trucks from the road annually. Since 2005, the FAA has funded 67 VALE projects at 34 airports, which represents a total investment of $167 million in clean airport technology. That amount includes $133 million in federal grants and $34 million in local airport matching funds.

AIP provides more than $3 billion in annual funding for projects that are vital to maintaining the safety, capacity, and environmental stewardship of our nation’s airports. More than 3,300 airports are eligible for AIP grants benefiting commercial passengers, cargo operations, and general aviation activities throughout the nation.

The VALE program supports the objectives of the President’s Climate Action Plan. It builds on efforts to address climate change and support clean energy innovation, including historic investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and rail under the Recovery Act, as well as the ambitious new fuel economy standards put into place for cars and trucks, which the Administration has worked to develop since 2009 in collaboration with industry.

For more information about the program, including a list of eligible airports and projects, go to the VALE web site: www.faa.gov/airports/environmental/vale.