News Digest – DOT 18-16

Source: News Digest – DOT 18-16

DOT Renews Charter for Transit Advisory Committee for Safety (TRACS).  The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recently published a Federal Register notice announcing the two-year renewal of the charter for TRACS.  Created in 2009 by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, TRACS provides a forum for the development, consideration, and communication of information regarding public transit safety.  It also makes recommendations on transit safety and other issues as determined by the Secretary of Transportation and the FTA Administrator.  Members are recognized leaders in rail and bus transit safety, and are selected based on organizational skills, geographic representation, staff diversity and the overall balance of industry representation.  Contact:  Steve Kulm at 202-366-9260.

Maritime Administration Releases Vessel Emission Reduction Reports.  The Maritime Administration (MARAD) today announced the availability of two reports documenting reductions in air pollutant emissions and fuel consumption  resulting from repowering a Puget Sound regional tugboat and an inland tugboat.  MARAD’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) Program provided funding to the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) to replace two older propulsion engines on the MV Island Chief with new Tier 2-certified engines, and two older auxiliary engines with new Tier 4-certified engines. These upgrades resulted in significant reductions in emissions of criteria air pollutants  (PM, NOx, SOx) as well as  in overall fuel consumption.  PSCAA reinvested the fuel savings it realized from the reduced overall fuel consumption into additional fleet repowers.  The project also supported education and job creation at a local technical college, expanded industry outreach, and PSCAA has developed its own grant program to reduce harbor craft emissions.  The report is available at


MARAD’s META program also provided funding to the Southeast Missouri Regional Planning Commission for replacement of two older propulsion engines on the MV Daniel Wise with new Tier 3-certified main propulsion engines. Real-world emissions testing was conducted at intervals for up to 17,000 hours of operation after the engine upgrade, and showed significant reductions in emissions of criteria air pollutants (PM, NOx, SOx), as well as in overall fuel consumption.  The report can be downloaded at Contact: Kim Strong (202) 366-5807

Maritime Administration Releases LNG Vessel Operations Emission Report.  The Maritime Administration today announced the availability of a report that quantifies methane slip and fugitive emissions from using liquefied natural gas (LNG) for vessel operations and bunkering.  The study, completed in partnership with the University of Delaware and the Rochester Institute of Technology, builds upon earlier work identifying life cycle emissions associated with LNG use using a “well-to-hull” analysis.  The study was designed to provide information guide innovation investments in reducing methane slip and release in the maritime propulsion context.  A key finding is that fugitive methane emissions from bunkering operations pose a potentially greater source of methane release than methane slip at the engine. The report is available at Contact: Kim Strong (202) 366-5807