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Talking Freight Transcript

Freight and the Environment Part I

March 21, 2012


Jennifer Symoun
Good afternoon or good morning to those of you to the West. Welcome to the Talking Freight Seminar Series. My name is Jennifer Symoun and I will moderate today's seminar. Today's topic is the Freight and the Environment Part 1.

Before I go any further, I do want to let those of you who are calling into the teleconference for the audio know that you need to mute your computer speakers or else you will be hearing your audio over the computer as well.

Today we'll have four presenters - Dr. James Winebrake of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Rebecca Watts Hull and Alan Jones of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative; and Alan Bates from Shorepower Technologies.

Professor James J. Winebrake, Ph.D., is currently Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Co-Director of the Laboratory for Environmental Computing and Decision Making at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Dr. Winebrake's research focuses on the environmental aspects of transportation and energy systems. Most recently, Dr. Winebrake has published on issues related to the environmental impacts of goods movement, including: health risk assessments of ocean-going vessels, total fuel-cycle analyses of alternative fuels, and cost-effectiveness of emissions reduction technologies and policies for trains, trucks and ships. Dr. Winebrake recently served on the National Academies of Science (NAS) Committee on A Study of Potential Energy Savings and Greenhouse Gas Reductions from Transportation, and on the NAS Committee on An Assessment of Fuel Economy Technologies for Medium and Heavy Duty Vehicles.

Rebecca Watts Hull is Director of Mothers & Others for Clean Air, a non-profit education and advocacy project of the American Lung Association in Georgia. This air quality program engages parents, health care professionals, scientists and other concerned citizens in clean air initiatives, including diesel retrofit projects. For the past two years Rebecca has led the Freight Planning Committee of the Southeast Diesel Collaborative in an effort to better integrate emissions reductions into freight planning as the Southeast prepares for the expected "Post-Panamax" growth in goods movement.

Alan Jones is Manager of the Policy Office in the Long Range Planning Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Alan joined TDOT in 2004, and he advises TDOT officials on transportation policy issues, including air quality, energy, freight, land use, sustainable transportation and livable communities. He directs the state's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, conducts research on transportation policy innovations, and develops strategic recommendations for making the state's transportation system more sustainable.

Alan Bates is Vice President of Marketing for Shorepower Technologies. He has been a key team member in several early-stage ventures and has consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, Cisco, Disney, HP, Google, and Microsoft. He drives to work every day in an all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Today's seminar will last 90 minutes, with 60 minutes allocated for the speakers, and the final 30 minutes for audience Question and Answer. If during the presentations you think of a question, you can type it into the chat area. Please make sure you send your question to "Everyone" and indicate which presenter your question is for. Presenters will be unable to answer your questions during their presentations, but I will start off the question and answer session with the questions typed into the chat box. If we run out of time and are unable to address all questions we will attempt to get written responses from the presenters to the unanswered questions.

The PowerPoint presentations used during the seminar are available for download from the file download box in the lower right corner of your screen. The presentations will also be available online within the next few weeks, along with a recording and a transcript. I will notify all attendees once these materials are posted online.

One final note: Talking Freight seminars are eligible for 1.5 certification maintenance credits for AICP members. In order to obtain credit for today's seminar, you must have logged in with your first and last name, or if you are attending with a group of people, you must type your first and last name into the chat box. I have included more detailed instructions in the file share box on how to obtain your credits after the seminar. Please also download the evaluation form from the file share box and submit this form to me after you have filled it out.

We're now going to go ahead and get started. Today's topic, for those of you who just joined us, is Freight and the Environment Part 1. As a reminder, if you have questions during the presentation please type them into the chat box and they will be answered in the last 30 minutes of the seminar. Our first presenter will be Dr. James Winebrake of the Rochester Institute of Technology.

James Winebrake
Thanks Jennifer. Hi, everybody. Given the limited amount of time, I am going to talk about achieving emissions reductions in the freight sector. I will go through some of the overview material rather quickly so we can get to the heart of the issue, which is how do we achieve emissions reductions in the freight sector. I want to acknowledge some folks. Some of this work was funded in part by a grant from the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), and that is administered by the Georgetown Climate Center. I put the web address for TCI on the slide, and if you download the slides you will have that address. I also am grateful to Jim Corbett at the University of Delaware, Scott Hawker at RIT, and Karl Korfmacher at RIT for their contributions to the GIFT model.

In the 15 or 20 minutes that I have to discuss this issue, I am laying it out as we would in thinking about solving these kinds of problems where we want to understand the problem, characterize the data, identify the reduction opportunities, and then implement the results.

First is understanding the problem. By the way, each one of my section headers has kind of a punch line under it. This short section is going to talk about freight being closely tied to economic growth, freight as growing, and how the bulk of freight in the United States is moved by high energy-intensive and greenhouse gas-intensive modes such as truck. Let's look at each one of these issues. This graph shows on the y axis ton-miles of goods moved in the U.S. between 1980 and 2007and GDP. The x axis shows GDP. The real point is to show this close relationship between goods movement and GDP, and the text box in the middle says for every trillion dollar increase in GDP, we expect additional 140 billion ton-miles of goods movement. As we know, economic growth and goods movement are very closely tied, as this graph illustrates.

Secondly, if we look at freight movements by mode, we get a chart like this, from 1980 to 2007. The bottom color is truck, the red is rail, the green is domestic shipping, the aqua blue is pipeline, and then there's a little slice you can barely see up top that's air movement. The y axis is ton-miles over miles. You can see by the breakdown that we are dominated by truck and rail, with contributions from other modes. By the way, these trends are expected to continue, and you can see they have been going up at a steady pace. The Department of Energy predicts they will continue to increase over the next 30 years.

When we have that kind of freight growth, and with those kinds of modes, if we are interested in energy consumption and petroleum dependence and greenhouse gas emissions, we need to look at something called energy intensity. On the y axis is energy intensity, measured in British Thermal Units (BTU) per ton-mile. On the x axis we have where we have been historically, the blue top line is our truck energy intensity, and the two bottom lines, the red and green, one is rail and one is domestic shipping. The point is to illustrate the high energy intensity of truck movements for goods movement in the United States. We're almost 5 to 10 times larger in terms of moving a ton-mile of goods with trucks versus rail or domestic shipping. I should note here that these are top down averages, and I am going to get to some of the caveats when we look at modal comparisons and some of the dangers in using top-down U.S. averages. I will get to that later in the presentation.

Here's a graph that is in carbon dioxide units, and you can see the x axis unit's grams per ton kilometer. This was work we did for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) a couple years ago when they were doing a greenhouse gas inventory of ships. You will see on the y axis there are a number of different types of ships, and the bottom two items on the y axis are rail and highway or road. The reason I like this graph is instead of a point estimate of what the greenhouse gas intensity is for each of the modes, these have estimates in a range and they vary based on the way you're operating your vehicle, your vessel, or locomotive; the type of goods you are carrying; and the speed at which you are moving the goods. The interesting thing here is you see things like road and rail can overlap. Again, this is kind of a warning, because when we try to use a point estimate for a top-down estimate, we can sometimes run into trouble. There are cases where rail, for example, can have higher emissions than trucks, depending on how fast the rail is moving and what the locomotive is pulling.

If you put all this together, for the United States, you get the somewhat busy pie chart here. What I highlighted here in the yellow boxes are some of the goods movement modes that we care about as well as light duty vehicles. This pie chart shows the total emissions from the transportation sector in the U.S.: about two giga-tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. That's about a third or so of the total U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. You will see the vast majority, 57%, of those emissions come from light duty vehicles - on the right side of the chart, the big blue splice - but freight trucks are responsible for 18% and commercial light trucks about 2%, and then you have rail and domestic shipping, which are much smaller contributions. This kind of points out that trucking is an area that has long been neglected until recently in terms of looking for ways to make them more efficient and reduce emissions. We are starting to see that in the Federal sector and in some of the states as well.

That paints the picture from an energy and greenhouse gas standpoint, and I think the picture it paints is one where we are increasing freight and we are increasing goods movement, it's tied to economic growth, it's very dependent on petroleum, and therefore there's high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Now we have to think about what we are going to do about the problem. Some recent work we did was to help characterize the data, and TCI, the Transportation Climate Administration, helped fund this. We really concentrated on the northeast and mid-Atlantic region, which is the TCI region and dug down deep into CFS (Commodity Flow Survey) data to explore and provide data sets and maps for the TCI region on their freight flows.

One of the things that comes out of the charts I am about to show now is that truck really dominates in the northeast and mid-Atlantic, for about 87% of goods movement. About 50% of the commodities moved in the region are gravel and stone, refined fuel, and nonmetallic minerals and coal. I think I will skip this slide because it talks about characterization and my point in this part of the presentation is to offer that we need to really understand the flows and origins and destinations and types of routes that goods are being moved on within a region or within a state if we really want to do anything about getting emissions reductions. The scope of the study is the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, and we looked at all three modes - truck, rail, and ship - and the commodities that were reported. It's a huge data set and there are dozens of slides and graphs that we could show, but I just wanted to illustrate it with a couple. This is the graph that shows the freight flows by state in this region, and you can see on the y axis the different states, and we have it broken up by mode. Pennsylvania in this TCI region is responsible for the largest amount of goods movement. You can see the bulk of that is made up of truck. The blue in this bar chart represents trucks, so the thing that should stand out in this picture is the amount of goods moved in the TCI states, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, that's really driven by truck.

Another thing we can do which is important is to understand where the flows are going geographically. Here's a chart showing some of the inner-region flows, the freight flows going from one location within the region to another location within the region. The color red means there's a large amount of flow coming into that county. The green is a much lower amount. You can see that these are pretty much around our population centers. We did these kinds of maps for a number of different ways to slice the data. Here are flows from outside the region into the region. You will see in a minute why this is important. We really need to understand the origin and destination pairs in order to do the analyses to calculate emissions and energy consumption within a particular region or state.

Identify energy and emissions reduction opportunities: we understand the problem and we have drilled down into the data, and there's more that we have to do in terms of data analysis, but we want to start thinking about reduction opportunities. I am going to present something that we dubbed the IF-TOLD framework and how it provides insights into emissions reductions options, and I will also talk about the GIFT model we can use to evaluate these options.

The IF-TOLD framework was presented a couple years ago. We categorized the actions we can take to look at intermodalism/infrastructure, fuels, technology, operations, logistics, and demand and how much stuff we consume. It's a useful framework to help us characterize different options and policy and program alternatives.

In exploring the effects of some of those possible alternatives, we've implemented the GIFT model, which is the geospatial intermodal freight transportation model. It's been jointly developed at RIT and the University of Delaware, with funding support from the USDOT, Maritime Administration, and the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute. The GIFT model is a pretty interesting model. The purpose of the GIFT model is to help us explore intermodal transportation of goods or single mode, but give us the option to explore multimode transportation of goods and look at the environmental and energy and other types of criteria that we may want to look at in terms of optimal ways of moving goods within a region. How we have done this is we have taken the road network of the U.S. and Canada and rail and waterway network for the entire globe, and we have connected them in RTIS software through (if you look at bottom right) through intermodal transfer facilities, or transportation hubs. A transportation hub could be a port, a rail yard, a truck-to-truck transfer point. Once we have these networks connected to this hub, we can model flows that might start on a highway, move over to rail, go onto a ship, and maybe go back to a highway.

The other thing that we have done that's kind of interesting with this GIFT model is we are able to populate the network with not only the shortest distance types of data, as you might find if you go to Google maps or MapQuest and put in a starting point and an end point and it shows the shortest distance or shortest time to get from point A to point B. We can do that, but we have also put attributes in the network related to environmental impacts and costs impacts. For example, this allows us to run cases where we have an origin and destination and we want to run the least carbon dioxide route or the least cost route or the least particulate matter route, and we have that ability to put those attributes in the network and optimize the solution based on our choice of objectives. This shows a case that we looked at for moving goods from Montreal to Cleveland. The difference between the left case and right case is we looked at two different kinds of ships. One ship, on the left side, was a smaller ship. The one on the right is a bigger ship. The point is that we can now map alternative routes based on our objectives, whether it's least time, least cost, or least CO2.

Why that is useful is it lets us do trade-off analysis. Here's an example of that trade-off looking at two variables: CO2 and delivery time. You can see in the top graph that truck has the largest CO2 emissions for this trip compared to ship and rail, but it's also the quickest, if you look at the bottom where it shows delivery time. It gives policymakers an opportunity to look at these different trade-offs and make determinations about what is best in a particular situation. How do we incentivize goods to go on one mode versus another, and what are the trade-offs if we choose to do that?

Here's another example that shows short sea shipping along the eastern seaboard from Jacksonville up to Raleigh. I only have the bar chart of the CO2 comparison because I wanted to show some intermodal examples. There's a truck-only route and a rail-only route, but there's a ship-truck combination and a rail-truck combination. I think this is important when we are thinking about reductions; this intermodal component allows us to meet the goods movement needs of the industry and consumers, but also get the reductions that we would like to see for the environment.

Last is implementing results. Once we have the analysis done and we understand the data and freight flows within the region and we understand the environmental impacts and energy consumption characteristics of those freight flows, we have to think about what we are going to do. We've taken the IF-TOLD model and aligned it with example policy options. The policy options that we have here are on the left hand side: efficiency standards, taxes, subsidies, etc. We identify where in the IF-TOLD framework those types of policy options fit in. I think if nothing else, this just gives us a framework to brainstorm and think about how different options like infrastructure investments, alternative fuel regulations, or weight restrictions might affect different points in the entire freight system. You may disagree or argue about where the dots are, and that's not so much the point. The real point is creating a framework where we can look at policy options and see how they might address different elements of the freight system.

I think that's my 20 minutes or so. Thank you.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Jamie. The next presentation will be given jointly by Rebecca Watts Hull and Alan Jones, representing the Southeast Diesel Collaborative. Rebecca and Alan, you can go ahead.

Alan Jones
Thank you very much Jennifer. My name is Alan Jones and I am with the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Rebecca and I are both participants in the Southeast Diesel Collaborative (SEDC). I want to start by talking about that just a moment. We are also going to talk a little bit about the contribution that diesel emissions are making to nonattainment status for areas in the southeast; the connection between diesel emissions and public health; freight movement hot spots where there's an unusually high concentration of diesel emissions; and, finally, reducing emissions from freight. Hopefully we can move through those first four topics fairly quickly and focus on the solutions and how we might reduce emissions from freight.

The SEDC, as the slide says, is a voluntary public-private partnership of people and organizations that are interested in working together to reduce diesel emissions. That's basically the mission of the SEDC: what can we do together on a voluntary basis to reduce diesel emissions to improve public health. It is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Clean Diesel Campaign, and there are diesel collaboratives in other parts of the country as well. Our particular group, the group that Rebecca leads and that we have been working on together, was formed to identify and pursue strategies for trying to integrate consideration of air quality and public exposure to diesel emissions and how we might reduce those exposures into freight planning. The Southeast is particularly concerned about freight and the growth of freight volume due to the projected freight growth that the Southeast will experience as a result of the Panama Canal expansion.

Nonattainment issues: we already have in the southeast a nonattainment problem. There are a number of counties in the southeast that are nonattainment for either PM 2.5 and/or ozone. We know from EPA that new designations are coming for the 1997 ozone standard. We expect EPA to go ahead and propose and promulgate a more stringent ozone standard in 2014 or somewhere in that timeframe. That standard will probably be 70 parts per billion or less. That's something we are already facing, and the reason we are particularly concerned about freight is that we are expecting a growth in freight volume, and most of that increase in freight volume will still be carried by trucks. In fact, the American Trucking Association suggests the percentage of freight carried by trucks will probably go up a little bit. That's a national estimate. The study said we estimate that growth in freight volume will go up over 2% a year, and as I said earlier, the national distribution of freight volume is likely to go up in the southeast region because of the Panama Canal expansion and the economic opportunities that will provide to people shipping goods across the country. We are concentrating on that so-called "legacy" fleet of 20 million diesel engines; that's the latest estimate from EPA after implementing the moves emission model of all the diesel engines out there on the road now and the fact that there's relatively little regulatory authority available to EPA or the states to reduce emissions from those existing engines. A number of companies are delaying truck replacement in part due to the additional costs of the emission reduction technology that new engines have. As a result, the fleet turnover to cleaner engines will take years.

Rebecca Watts Hull
I am going provide a quick overview to why we are concerned about diesel emissions from a public health perspective. I imagine some of this information is familiar to a number of folks on the call, so I will go through it rather quickly so, as Alan indicated, we can move to the solutions piece. Diesel emissions are a big contributor to fine particulate pollution and they are a significant source of air toxics. This diagram shows you why that is and how the very small particulate matter in diesel can carry toxics deep into the body. The analysis described at the bottom of the slide, which is based on EPA's National Air Toxics Assessment, concludes that diesel exhaust actually poses a cancer risk three times higher than all other air toxics tracked by EPA combined. It's a significant risk both because of the particulates and the toxics attached to the particulates in the exhaust.

PM 2.5 refers to fine particulate matter regulated by EPA. This slide shows how small the particles are in the human hair diagram on the right. The small orange form there within the human hair shows you how PM 2.5 would compare to a cross session of a human hair. There's an even a smaller category of particulate matter getting more and more attention from air quality scientists and epidemiologists, and that's called ultra-fine particulate matter. It's not yet regulated, but diesel exhaust is a very significant source of ultra-fine PM, and some epidemiologists are concerned it may be an even more significant health threat than fine PM.

These are some of the health risks that have been associated with diesel exhaust through scientific research. Probably the most robust sets of data are for respiratory disease and heart disease. It's the small size of the particles that results in diesel PM being a heart issue as well as a respiratory issue, because they're so small that they can actually enter the bloodstream. In recent years, additional health risks have been emerging. One recent study in New York City looked at PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), which are part of diesel exhaust, and found connections with reduced IQ associated with exposure in utero. So, these are some of the other health concerns associated with diesel exhaust. You may also have heard or read about a couple weeks ago two significant studies just released on the lung cancer effects of exposure to diesel exhaust in minors.

That is a very quick, high-level overview of the public health concerns associated with diesel exhaust. We are concerned about diesel exhaust both in terms of its contribution to nonattainment and also specifically with respect to local exposures. Exposures are not evenly distributed. We can think about the question of who is affected by diesel exhaust in two different ways-number one, with respect to who is most sensitive. We know children and senior citizens and people living with respiratory, cardiac, and other underlying heart problems are more vulnerable to the effects of diesel exhaust than others. Number two, obviously, if your exposures are higher, the risk is more significant, so people who live and work in occupations where they are exposed on a daily basis, or if they live and work in areas with high concentrations of diesel exhaust, they are going to be at greater risk.

This is a map of truck volume in the U.S., and you can see from these veins going through the country that truck volume is not evenly distributed and, of course, the same is true for rail. Exposures, as a result, also won't be evenly distributed. This map shows health risks associated with diesel exhaust, and you can see there are some similarities between the two maps. The areas where we see the highest levels of risk from diesel soot are pretty similar to the areas where we see the highest volume of goods movement.

So, where are these so-called hot spots located? Where are we moving goods throughout the country? Where are some of the local exposures going to tend to be highest: ports and distribution centers, of course, where the freight is coming into the country. Freight corridors: on this map you see some of the most significant freight corridors throughout the southeast. One aspect of freight corridors that a lot of folks may not realize is that in urban areas in particular, busy truck corridors are not limited to industrial areas. Because of limited planning in urban areas in the past (and to some extent, it still happens now, where there aren't a lot of choices - for example, for a school system as to where they may put a new school) freight corridors may pass very close to areas densely populated, areas where people live and schools are located. I give one example in the photo here. There was a study several years ago nationwide that found that about a third of U.S. public schools are located very close to major roadways, so there are a lot of opportunities for exposures to that sensitive population of children. Other areas of concern include urban centers where there may be disproportionate exposures, including distribution centers and rail yards.

This is a quick summary of some of the research that we use to inform our discussion of how close is too close. What does close to a busy roadway mean? There was a comprehensive survey of all the research by the Health Effects Institute, and they came up with a fairly conservative estimate that if buildings can be located further than 500 meters from a busy roadway, that's the best way to ensure there are not going to be exposures. The least conservative estimate of what area would be considered a danger zone is about 150 meters from a busy roadway. The CHPAC referenced on the slide is the Children's Health Policy Advisory Committee of the EPA. CHPAC's recommendation to EPA with respect to school siting was to screen as far as a half mile from the busy roadway or a freight route. California is the only state that has actually implemented policy to try to prevent proximity between schools and freight corridors, and the state now has a law prohibiting new schools from being built closer than 500 feet from busy roadways because of the risk.

Alan Jones
In looking at this issue, intersection between freight planning and air quality, one of our most significant goals is to enlist the transportation community as allies in making air quality improvement a major goal of all freight planning efforts. We believe that for most transportation agencies doing freight planning, one of their goals is to reduce congestion. We believe that's very complementary and consistent with the SEDC's goal of reducing diesel emissions. If you are successful in reducing congestion related to freight, you will be successful in reducing emissions, particularly from trucks. We hope that in the future, freight planning efforts can: identify opportunities for air quality improvements - what are the strategies that yield air quality improvements; emphasize strategies that address freight bottlenecks and heavily traveled transportation corridors; and elevate the funding priority of projects that address freight bottlenecks, in part because some of the solutions for addressing bottlenecks are particularly expensive. There have been at least a couple studies in the recent past that have identified freight bottlenecks nationally, and oftentimes, those bottlenecks occur at interstate interchanges where two interstates intersect in urban areas. As most of you know, that right-of-way, the cost of that project to add capacity, for example, at that bottleneck, the right-of-way cost and real estate cost are astronomical.

We want to try to stay ahead of capacity to reduce bottlenecks, encouraging the mode shift. One of the issues the rail industry has raised is the fact that rail companies in many areas of the company are nearing capacity, and adding additional loads and cars and trains to that infrastructure is out of question in some parts of the country. To improve that infrastructure is going to be expensive indeed; in fact, the rail industry argues they won't be able to afford it on their own. In the example in the slide, investing $49 million in Miami-Dade County in freight/rail restoration, the big benefits is the estimate of avoiding 34 million gallons of fuel over the next 20 years. Of course, that's based on modal shift from trucks to trains.

Green corridors are one of the priorities of the SEDC, a regional priority, and the idea is to help establish green infrastructure along interstate corridors to reduce the environmental impacts of use of that corridor: for example, to establish biofuel infrastructure to increase the availability of biofuels, the fuel most relevant to trucks would be using B20 biodiesel blends, which most heavy truck engines can use without modification. Another policy options is provide incentives for truck stop electrification and auxiliary power units to reduce extended idling. We need to see more truck stops outfitted with truck stop electrification technology to give truck drivers that option of turning their engine off while they are getting their required hours of rest, but there are not enough truck stops in the country to solve the problem. There's an acute truck parking shortage across the country, and in Tennessee you can visit any rest area early in the morning and see what I am talking about. You will barely be able to get in and out of that rest area because of the trucks parked on the entrance and exit ramps. We need the auxiliary power units, the small on-board generators, to give truckers an option. The third option, not relevant to trucks, but another characteristic of green corridors is electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Some people have argued that what Federal agencies (FHWA, EPA, U.S. Department of Agriculture, DOE) should target funding to help accomplish some of these goals in critical corridors: in other words, focus on a few corridors and see what can be done to make those corridors greener, and then move onto another set of priority corridors.

Rebecca Watts Hull
At a more local level, one of the things our committee has been trying to encourage is to have the regional freight plans - and we commented specifically on one in the Atlanta metropolitan planning area - take into account exposures, not just overall emissions reductions, when they are looking at what is the best way to move freight through an urban area. Listed on the slide are some of the things we commented on with respect to that particular freight plan: distance from roadways; location of schools, senior centers, other areas that might have particular sensitive populations; and both pedestrian and commuter traffic. A lot of people don't recognize that when cars are sharing roadways with diesel trucks, they pull the diesel exhaust into their cars while they are commuting to work.

Communities with a high proportion of young children or seniors or both can receive special attention in freight routes planning and other options investigated if an area has a high concentration of those types of facilities. This is an example from Miami-Dade County. They didn't do this for freight planning, but they looked at concentrations of seniors in making decisions about which waste haulers would be retrofitted. They recognized that seniors are a vulnerable population and used this GIS overlay to look at areas with the most seniors and prioritize the cleaner waste haulers. They are suggesting, with this diagram here in the slide, that they could take a similar approach to try to look at whether some of the freight routes could be shifted to avoid senior-intensive areas.

Mitigation is also a possibility, and I will just do this very quickly because I know we are about out of time. In areas where houses are not going to move or schools are not going to move and it's clear that the freight route is the only option in that area, there is some scientific evidence that different types of barriers may be helpful; air intake filtration systems and vegetative barriers may be explored in situations where the proximity just cannot be changed. Alan is going to wrap up with an overview of solutions we at SEDC believe should be explored.

Alan Jones
There are several opportunities, as we call them, and we think that each of these needs more discussion and more examination to see which ones might be most effective. We want to survey transportation agencies to identify existing studies that identify trucking patterns and needs. The previous presentation is a good example. We want to identify where truck parking facilities might be most needed, the strategic locations for those facilities, and see if we can work together as a region to seek funding. We think that might be a more competitive approach. We want to develop comprehensive recommendations to include in MPO and State freight mobility plans; recommendations that speak to air quality and how freight planning may contribute to air quality improvement goals. We would like to see how to improve coordination between and integration of MPO, State, and regional planning. In fact, I think we would argue for more regional planning, a region like the southeast or the northeast, and how that region functions as a unit, because freight tends to ignore political boundaries and freight movement issues tend to be those of the region; for example, the I-81/I-40 corridor where State of Virginia has done a lot of work. We would like to continue to see federal funding to speed up emissions reductions through retrofit projects; retrofit technology is still one of the most cost effective ways to reduce diesel emissions. We also want to see more partnerships with communities that are disproportionately affected to address their local concerns.

One idea that was mentioned was to develop virtual freight networks as part of ITS and transportation system management and operations: the establishment of software applications to provide load matching for shippers and truckers to alleviate "deadheading." Another idea is to establish performance measures (for example, the VMT reduction) and emissions reductions monitoring. We also want to see support for clustering of distribution center facilities to support more rail/intermodal use and economic development. Zoning laws and incentives can help with that, and there are innovative strategies we could explore, such as off-peak delivery schemes. For example, Dell in Nashville, at their distribution facility, scheduled all their freight shipping and receiving operations at night. It's been good for the company and it's helped Nashville with congestion and truck traffic. Another example is ship-to-rail projects that eliminate the need for drayage truck operations directly between those two modes. We really need to try to focus on those opportunities for mode transfer - where is it possible to transfer or divert truck freight to more efficient rail and barge transport. This is the key thing: where are those opportunities for increasing mode transfer where the government's role might be to address strategic obstacles; for example, for better connections between rail, truck, and barge traffic. That government program or that government incentive or assistance might really make freight transfer from trucks to other modes more possible.

We really do appreciate the opportunity to speak to you and we will be glad to answer questions a little later during the question and answer period. Thanks very much.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Alan and Rebecca. We will move onto our final presentation and then we will go back for questions. Our next presentation will be given by Alan Bates of Shorepower Technologies.

Alan Bates
Thank you. I think this sort of works out well because Jamie spoke about the truck energy intensity and the energy it takes to run these trucks, and Alan and Rebecca spoke about the problems that we face just as people around diesel emissions. We have a solution for that. Shorepower has been around since 2004, and I am the Vice President of Marketing. This project we have going on right now is called the Shorepower Truck Electrification Project, and I will talk in more detail about it. We started as a transportation electrification infrastructure company, which is a fancy way to say energy vending machines. We made boxes for trucks to plug into to shut the main engine down and allow them to run off the grid. It's an important thing because we have a threefold problem. We have an environmental problem, which is 2 billion gallons of fuel wasted every year through idling unnecessarily during rest periods. This creates a big compliance issue. You have a number of states that are have laws on book to prevent idling and they are starting to enforce those. Then you have the cost of the fuel itself. In an industry where the margins are thin, every trucking company, every owner/operator, is looking for ways to trim their costs, and fuel is one of those big categories they can trim.

The Shorepower project is a DOE-funded program that is designed to put both equipment in the ground for trucks to plug into and equipment on the trucks. We are effectively trying to replace petroleum with electricity. It's a very simple concept and it's an alternative to idling. While most truck stops have never had this ability to give to trucks, we are putting this in. We are creating a new "normal," trying to transform the truck and transportation industry. This is one of the things we can do to curb emissions. We are building equipment at 50 truck stops nationwide in about 28 to 29 states. On average, we will have 24 connections to start, but we will expand as the service starts to take off. We have pre-selected the locations; we are building those now, and that's based on a number of factors, including where the freight is moving, the proximity to other sites, and a number of other factors.

We are seeding the market with incentives. We have a partner who is providing fee-based incentives to drivers and fleets to put equipment on the trucks. There are a number of pieces of equipment that they can plug in. We are going to share that data, all the information we collect, with the DOE in a big report, and as we build the infrastructure, we are signing up "green" first-mover fleets. You have a variety of designations of fleets that have started to move into this direction for sustainability or simple cost savings; they are looking for ways to save money and save fuel. We are supported by the energy, transportation, and air quality agencies. This is a topic near and dear to the hearts of probably many of you. We are now looking for very simple ways to get drivers to plug in.

As far as the idling laws that I mentioned, we have about 29 states and 48 jurisdictions. The green you see on the map is only going to get greener. I don't believe any states will go backwards and say you know what, we will take those idling laws off the books. I think they are only going to get more in number and in enforcement. So, we are providing a way for drivers or a fleet to make a decision to do something other than idling.

This is the current map of sites that we have. You can see there are a number of current locations that are in operation and there are quite a few future locations. I am happy to share those specific locations with you. These are looking at I-5 on the west coast, I-95 on the east coast. We have I-10, I-20, I-80, I-90, and feeder highways and interstates. These are all sites, again, that were based on a number of criteria that we selected, and these will be the first rollout. We are hoping to eventually build 500 to 1,000 locations with some form of plug-in technology. This is the first rollout, representing about 65 locations.

The TSE system we have is simply a power pedestal that, like a marina or RV park, sits there and does the job year after year. It's fairly low cost to install and maintain; it doesn't have a whole lot of moving parts. It provides a safety light. The secret sauce inside is a remote payment control and activation system. This is the vending part, the energy vending that we have. It provides comfort and entertainment, so they are able to get power that can power anything inside the cab, electric, HTC, and also cable TV and wireless internet, where it is available, at some locations. We are improving the air and noise quality. We are allowing drivers to comply with the laws, and the host site can make revenues on this as well. The bottom line is that would drive this whole thing is the fuel cost per night. The plug-in with Shorepower is a dollar per hour; to idle on diesel on a main engine is a gallon per hour. Even an APU or auxiliary power unit, which is a diesel engine and it's a great solution for reducing fuel consumption, but there are still higher costs involved with running that on diesel, plus when you add in the maintenance, you're still seeing an advantage to plugging in rather than burning on an internal combustion engine.

To pay for the service, we allow drivers to use an on-site kiosk to call a toll free number or use a web browser, which could be on a laptop or smartphone. We have prepaid cards, which are gift cards with stored value they can use. We will be moving into fleet cards so fleet drivers that have certain programs that they are involved in that the fleet pays for; we will be accepting those in the future.

The trends in terms of electrification, in this market, are that obviously all fleet companies are looking to retain drivers. They are facing driver shortages. Fleets are starting to go green and have sustainability objectives. There are a number of health issues, as Rebecca mentioned. There are more mobile devices, and everything needs to be plug in: laptops, smart phones, TVs, and all the things the drivers are using. To be able to actually use those for a 10-hour rest period, you need to plug them in eventually. A lot of companies are electrifying their own terminals, so they are seeing the advantages of having, at a warehouse or a loading dock or a depot, places where trucks can plug in, in some cases simply to heat or cool the cab while drivers are waiting or for transport refrigeration units, which I will talk about as well. We are putting in about 30 locations where we will have higher power, 460 volt plug-ins for hybrid refrigerated trailers.

We believe that this solution we have really is one of the long-term solutions to this problem of idling because we are able to eliminate petroleum consumption while resting, we are not producing local emissions, and we're improving noise quality in the area. The technology has been around for years and is proven in terms of the marine and RV industry, and we are simply reapplying that. Drivers can plug in anything they want. They have a lot of freedom to do this. We are focused on the specific idle-reduction. Of all the different types of things out there, with the high energy intensity to run a truck, we think and have proven this is the most efficient and most cost effective solution as a simple on-board TSE solution (truck stop electrification). We provide electric TRU standby power for cooling down a trailer to get it to a temperature to refrigerate goods. We are not recycling air. All the OEMs have started to offer this as an option. This is the most sustainable business model.

As I mentioned, the trucking industry is starting to gear up. Today, all trucks can plug in with simply an extension cord and an appliance. There are levels of convenience, and that's where you come to the 20-30% of trucks that have some type of prewired convenience. Based on a lot of industry data and what we are seeing with the uptake of electrification, we know that many trucks will now come with a Shorepower option or it will be added shortly after purchase. The retrofit cost is anywhere from $100 on the low end up to $2,000 if you are going for more of a high-end, fully integrated solution. The industry, as funded by DOE, is providing incentives to upgrade a truck for an older truck.

In terms of electrification, there are many companies, especially the first-movers and early adopters that are starting to electrify. In fact a lot of the large retailers are requiring their shippers to meet green supply chain requirements. There are reliable technologies; there are at least 25 different pieces of equipment you can put on a truck that can plug in to maintain cab comfort or what we call hotel loads. Again, all of these trucks are becoming more like RVs and requiring higher power now, and we provide that with 100- and 208- and 60-volt power. There's a big maintenance cost involved with any internal combustion engine. There are health risks to drivers, and we now recognize what's going on in a truck stop environment or around a truck stop environment. People are seeing that and we have to react to that. We are seeing the idling reduction laws and anti-idling laws proliferating.

These are the some of the auxiliary power units with plug-in capability. You can see that there are a number of companies that are selling equipment that plugs in. Again, this is just an alternative. You can run a small diesel engine on diesel, or plug it in and access grid based power, which is cleaner, more efficient, and the benefits go on and on. This is a picture of one of the ETRUs, or electrified transport refrigeration units, and we are putting them in at 30 proposed locations among the network on the map I showed you earlier. This is where those refer trailers can go plug in and pull down, and a diesel TRU or diesel engine for a refer can use as much as much diesel fuel as the main engine. You can use up to a gallon per hour on some of these. There are a couple manufacturers making these units so they can plug in, and we think that as time goes forward, we are going to see a lot more fleets adopting this technology not only at their warehouse, but when they go out on the road.

I will conclude by saying that we have a project that's underway. You can see a little more information on our website at If you go to, that actually talks specifically about the project, what we are doing, and the truck stops we have up and running. It has a blog and there's lot of information there for you to learn about this DOE-funded project. We are pleased to be here to have you listen and I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.


Jennifer Symoun
Thank you, Alan. We are going to move on to the question and answer session. Alan, since you just finished, let's start off with a question for you. How many of your sites are at public rest areas, or are they mostly at private truck stops, and have you found a way around the limits of privatization at rest areas?

Alan Bates
All of our sites in Tennessee are at truck stops, and as we understand it right now, Congress removed the option of installing these at rest areas. I guess it hinges upon the definition of commercial activities. All of ours are at truck stops right now. I think it would be advantageous if we were able to put them in rest areas, but we haven't found a way around the prohibition.

Jennifer Symoun
Thank you. Let's go backwards and ask questions of Alan and Rebecca. Are there any green corridors in Georgia, and if there are, do you have any links or resources for that information?

Alan Jones
The only thing I know is that Georgia EPD, the environmental protection division, had funding from the Federal economic stimulus program to put in truck stop electrification equipment at least a couple sites. Mr. Richard McDonald at Georgia EPD would be the good contact, and he's also requesting proposals. I think he was actually having a conference call today to discuss a competitive grant process that he's having for CMAQ funding of truck stop electrification facilities.

Rebecca Watts Hull
That's correct. There's another $2.5 million that he was discussing on call this morning. The ERA funding is funding TSE at several truck stops around the State of Georgia. In addition to the ones that you saw in the Shorepower map, there are a couple in the Metro Atlanta area. There's one on I-75, and it are not all using the same type technology. Some of those are Idle Air. So, there are a number of them, but at this point, compared to the number of truck stops in the State of Georgia, it's still a pretty small number. The other challenge we have is the truck stop owners themselves have to be interested in doing this. The truck stop we have in Metro Atlanta where we would see the most exposures, almost 500 spaces right in the city, it is a truck stop owned by Travel Centers of America, and they made a corporate decision not to engage in TSE. We have to try to figure out how to change their mind about that so that they can apply for the funding.

Jennifer Symoun
Rebecca, another question for you: has SECD considered emissions reductions through increased mixed use development and connectivity in urban areas rather than considering locating housing no closer than 300 meters to the edge the roadway?

Rebecca Watts Hull
I saw that one, and I am not sure if this question is about reducing exposures to commuters on the roadway. One of the real challenges with SEDC making these kinds of recommendations is that we really don't have any authority to say the planning ought to take place in this way or that way. What we are trying to do is make sure that this is on the radar screen of the MPO planners and State level DOT planners, and there are lots of different ways to reduce exposures. You are very right to point out that just looking at distance is not the only way to do it. The way in which urban planning is taking place overall within an area is going to influence where the concentration of goods movement takes place and whether you have lots of commuters, as we do in Atlanta, sharing roadways with them, as compared with using transit, walking and biking to get where they need to go.

Jennifer Symoun
Do you have any new references to studies about effectiveness and cost effectiveness of various mitigation measures?

Rebecca Watts Hull
Yes, with respect to effectiveness. I haven't seen any looking at cost effectiveness. What I would be happy to do if that individual would send me an e-mail,, I will send you the recommendations that we submitted to the Atlanta Regional Commission, and those recommendations include a list of all references for scientific papers that look at the effectiveness of roadside structures in mitigating dispersion of fine and ultra-fine particles. There are only a handful of studies. It's an emerging and growing field. There hasn't been a lot done, but there are enough studies to be suggestive, and I would be happy to share those.

Jennifer Symoun
Jamie, does the energy intensity g/CO2 for truck include idling during rest periods?

James Winebrake
This is where I was pointing out the top down numbers that get generated from national statistics that have to be handled with care. In a lot of the top-down estimates, idling is accounted for, and part of that is because in the surveys conducted, the trucking industry reports the total fuel that it consumes and then it reports the total ton-miles of goods it moved. If you take the total fuel and energy and divide by total of ton-miles, you get the top-down number. The caution there is the reality that if you are looking at a particular route or particular origin-destination pair, there may or may not be a lot of idling, based on congestion and other factors. When you are doing regional analysis or local analysis, that's when you need to get into some of the other modeling that I presented.

Jennifer Symoun
Have you looked at positive or negative effect of population density as it relates to your studies on freight flows? Do you have any information that compares an equal population distribution vs. what is currently occurring and a 'what if' of a region either increasing or decreasing in population density?

James Winebrake
This is an interesting question. We haven't done any "what if" studies with increasing and decreasing population. We would expect with the decreasing populations in the northeast and the increasing populations in the southwest and southeast that we would start to see some shifts in flows based on where the population centers are. I will point out another interesting population element: if you recall one of my slides showed a route that we evaluated from Jacksonville to Raleigh, North Carolina. Tying into what Rebecca and Alan talked about, the location of the emissions is really important when you are looking at the local health effects. If you recall on that slide, one of the things we were evaluating was instead of sending trucks, or locomotives for that matter, up the eastern seaboard, putting goods on short sea shipping, and with the wind patterns, even though emissions can be higher for ships than locomotives, the population that's exposed is much less because the emissions are pouring out over the water. So, the population question is an interesting one. I haven't done the "what ifs" that she is suggesting, but it would be interesting to do.

Jennifer Symoun
We have another question for Alan Bates. Do you have any recommendations of how to promote use of TSEs that are already up and running?

Alan Bates
We are now in this stage. So much of what we are doing requires critical mass to achieve a certain level of plug-in infrastructure so that it will be adopted on a wide scale. It's such a challenge because we are going out and talking to fleets and to folks out there. When you are only available in a couple of locations, or a small number, it's not quite as compelling. A trucking company might not be as likely to adopt a technology or retrofit a truck or what have you. The short answer is in terms of what we are doing, we're going to grand openings, raising education awareness, going to trade shows, giving out a lot of free Shorepower - over the next 6 to 9 months, we are going to be giving out probably thousands of hours of free Shorepower just in terms of getting people to use it and getting people to understand what it is. There's a push and a pull, and we have to go on both sides to be able to paint the picture, and part of that is going to be through simple guerilla marketing, education awareness, free Shorepower, and making sure that information is available at the sites, so signage, brochures, etc. It's a multipronged approach.

Jennifer Symoun
Are communities requiring that truck distribution centers install Shorepower? Any citations?

Alan Bates
There are some communities now, I believe in California that have started to require a certain amount of infrastructure be available at warehouses or shipping centers. I don't have the full knowledge of that because we are mostly focusing on public areas, truck stops, etc., but from what I understand, they have started to mandate some distribution centers install some infrastructure to let their trucks plug in. There are citations going on, we know for sure in California. We have heard that Texas has implemented some fairly strict enforcement and we've heard of New Jersey and Massachusetts being a little bit more aggressive, and New York has had some recent news about enforcement. In general, because there are not a lot of great alternatives yet to idling when a driver is freezing or it's 110 degrees outside, they have to do something. Up until now, there haven't really been a whole lot of options. If there is an opportunity to plug in and they are still idling, that's when there's a problem .We are trying to get enough equipment out there to give them that option.

Jennifer Symoun
I don't see any more questions at the moment. We will go ahead and close out early. I want to thank all of our presenters for presenting at today's webinar and thank everybody in attendance.

We will have the recording of the presentations available online in the next few weeks, and I will send out an e-mail when they are available. I will also send out an e-mail when AICP maintenance and certification credits are available on the AICP website. As a reminder, if you are an AICP member, make sure you are signed in with your first and last name or type your name into the chat box if you are attending with a group of people.

I encourage everybody to download evaluation form that's available in the download box in the lower right corner of the screen and send it back to me. We are currently planning seminars for the second half of 2012 and we welcome any input on topic ideas.

The next seminar will be held on April 18th and will be on Freight and the Environment Part 2. Please visit the Talking Freight web site shown on the slide on the screen to register for this webinar.

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Enjoy the rest of your day.

Updated: 4/18/2012
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