Ports of Indiana Reflects on Environmental Progress on Earth Day 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 21, 2020) –As Earth Day reaches its milestone 50th Anniversary on April 22, Ports of Indiana reflects on its progress and long-term commitment to environmental stewardship, including its membership to the binational Green Marine Program.   

“Each year Earth Day is a special time for the public to focus on ways to improve all habits to help protect the environment,” said Vanta E. Coda II, CEO of Ports of Indiana. “Our organization takes great pride in the progress we have made, and continue to do, to advance environmental values by adopting practices and technologies that have a direct impact at our three port locations and beyond. Our pledge to care of our environment merges with our mission to develop and maintain a world-class port system.”

All three of its port locations received the coveted Green Marine certification in 2019, the first state-wide 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.

The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor received Green Marine certification in 2014. The port improved in recognition of its adoption and implementation of its own storm water management program authorized by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management in November 2018.

Additionally, the northwest Indiana port has displayed environmental stewardship in the following ways:

  • Its eco-friendly and waterborne transporting of goods by reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. For example, a 1,000-foot Great Lakes ship can move the same tonnage as 564 rail cars or 2,340 semi-trucks;
  • The Port and many of its businesses have received diesel emission grants over the years to purchase things like hybrid vehicles and cleaner-burning diesel engines;
  • 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;
  • The Port will open a six-acre truck marshalling yard in 2022, where drivers can turn off the trucks and rest in an enclosed reception area while waiting to unload/load freight.

The Port of Indiana-Jeffersonville and Port of Indiana-Mount Vernon, extends the benefits of the Green Marine certification process to the Inland Waterway System and carries with it the noted distinction for the two ports to be the first to do so along the Ohio River and the Upper Mississippi Basin. In respect to reducing fuel consumption, shipping by inland water is the most fuel-efficient mode; 15 barge tow equals 225 rail cars or 1,050 trucks.

The three port directors are committed to convene an interactive meeting several times a year with tenants to discuss environmental goals such as air emissions and minimizing storm water runoff.

“It is important for our team to work closely with our tenants to demonstrate the value of implementing greener and cleaner practices in the maritime industry,” said Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor Port Director Ian Hirt. “Federal Marine Terminals, our long-time stevedore and one of the founding partners of Green Marine program, set the stage for Metro Ports to enroll its Burns Harbor terminal into the program. Our team will continue collaborating and encourage other tenants at each port to advance and implement sustainable practices.” 

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About the Ports of Indiana: The Ports of Indiana is a statewide port authority operating three ports on the Ohio River and Lake Michigan. Established in 1961, the Ports of Indiana is a self-funded enterprise dedicated to growing Indiana’s economy by developing and maintaining a world-class port system. Information: portsofindiana.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PortsofIndiana.

Media contact: Alicia Thomas athomas@portsofindiana.com