Washington State bill will require trucks serving ports to be cleaner

The Washington State legislature and the ports of Tacoma and Seattle are struggling to balance the air quality and health concerns of neighborhoods close to port facilities with protests from independent truckers who cannot afford to upgrade their equipment. The deadline to require all trucks serving the port to have newer, cleaner engines has twice been extended. Other states have tried to set rules for clean engines, with varying degrees of success.

Megaships may be approaching their maximum size

According to the Journal of Commerce, the size of the world’s largest container vessels has increased more than sixfold since 1975 and is expected to grow an additional 13 percent by 2020. While these larger ships can be operated by small crews and use less fuel per container than smaller ships, there are a number of costs that come with these larger vessels, including increased risk, port infrastructure costs, and congestion.

Freight rail traffic is growing, but urban conflicts hinder infrastructure expansion

While passenger rail has been on the front page, freight railroads have been thriving. However a new truck-to-rail transfer facility to serve the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach has caused a fierce debate on the thorny question of how to weigh the value of regional economic and environmental benefits against local environmental impacts and environmental justice concerns.

Disagreement over the environmental impacts of the Bayonne Bridge project

Two federal agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, do not agree on the assessment of the environmental impacts of raising the Bayonne Bridge between Bayonne, NJ, and Staten Island, NY. The disagreement primarily concerns the impacts on air quality and the resulting effects on the local communities.

Florida’s freight infrastructure investment named an innovation to watch

Florida’s statewide approach to freight infrastructure investments has been highlighted in the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation’s Top 10 State and Metropolitan Innovations to Watch. Florida’s strategy is unique in that it aligns infrastructure systems across the state, thus allowing the FLP to consider the entire state’s freight interests rather than just those of individual ports and intermodal centers.