Funding and resources available through the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Transportation

There are more than 300 public and private ports throughout the United States. Though vital to our nation’s economy, the transportation of goods and people through our nation’s ports contribute to significant criteria air pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. 

To help advance clean technologies and related fueling infrastructure, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provide billions of dollars in funding to assist public and private port operators demonstrate and deploy low- and zero-emission technology solutions. These historic investments support the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 by employing efficient and cost-effective strategies while also improving public health of port workers and people within near-port communities.

Recognizing the need for thoughtful public investments to help decarbonize ports, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administer funding programs to help public and private port operators deploy low- or zero-emission technologies and related fueling infrastructure for vehicles, vessels, and equipment. 

These investments—and the ongoing collaboration between federal and state government offices and port stakeholders—support the goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 by employing efficient and cost-effective strategies while also improving public health of port workers and within near-port communities.

The benefits of this funding and collaboration include:

  • Promoting cleaner air for communities
  • Deploying commercially available and developing technologies
  • Improving efficiency and cost saving opportunities
  • Building a resilient ecosystem with innovative charging and fueling infrastructure,
  • Increasing manufacturing and creating new jobs in the U.S.

Eligible entities are encouraged to proactively build partnerships with port tenants, utilities, technology and equipment providers, local and state governments, and local communities to prepare for scheduled 2024 funding opportunities.
 

Ports Funding

The following sections outline basic eligibilities for each funding program. Applicants are encouraged to visit the program website to carefully review complete eligibility and legal requirements for the funding program of interest.

Department U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Funding Information:  A notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) of up to $3 billion is expected to open in the first quarter 2024.  
Project Eligibility: EPA is currently designing the program but anticipates funding for planning (related to climate and air quality), infrastructure (including shore power for ocean-going vessels), vehicles and equipment (including cargo-handling equipment, dray trucks, locomotives, and harbor craft). 
Funding Program Website: Clean Ports Program | US EPA

Description: The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 provides EPA with $3 billion to fund zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure, as well as climate and air quality planning at U.S. ports. This new funding program will build on EPA’s Ports Initiative and will help address public health and environmental impacts on port-adjacent communities. EPA anticipates this new funding opportunity will become available for application through a February 2024 NOFO.

Department: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Funding Information: Forthcoming. See project website for more information.
Project Eligibility: Eligible activities include the retrofit or replacement of existing diesel engines, vehicles and equipment with EPA and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certified engine configurations and verified retrofit and idle reduction technologies.
Funding Program Website: National Grants: Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA)

Description: EPA is authorized under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) to offer funding assistance to accelerate the upgrade, retrofit, and turnover of legacy diesel fleets. The DERA National grants program is a competitive funding opportunity that funds eligible projects that significantly reduce diesel emissions and exposure, especially from fleets operating at ports and other goods movements facilities in areas designated as having poor air quality. The DERA program has another competitive funding opportunity, DERA Tribal and Insular Area Grants, which funds similar activities but is only open to eligible Tribal and Insular Area applicants. EPA also allocates DERA funds to eligible U.S. states and territories through a non-competitive program for the establishment of diesel emissions reduction programs.

Department: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Funding Information: The next notice of funding opportunity of $80 million is expected to open in the second quarter of 2024.
Project Eligibility: Projects and studies to reduce idling at port facilities, including through the electrification of port operations. 
Funding Program Website: Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - Apportionment Fact Sheet | Federal Highway Administration (dot.gov)

Description: The Reduction of Truck Emissions at Port Facilities Program will provide funding to reduce truck idling and emissions at ports, including through the advancement of port electrification and operations efficiency improvements. Projects that test, evaluate, and deploy technologies that reduce port-related emissions from idling trucks are eligible for funding. The program also includes a study to address how ports and intermodal port transfer facilities would benefit from increased opportunities to reduce emissions at ports, and how emerging technologies and strategies can contribute to reduced emissions from idling trucks. DOT’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) administers the program.

Department: U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration
Funding Information: The next notice of funding opportunity of $450 million is expected to open in the mid-2024.
Project Eligibility: Projects and studies to increase efficient and reliability of goods movement, safety, and emissions mitigation projects that enhance good movement.  
Funding Program Website: Port Infrastructure Development Program | MARAD (dot.gov)

Description: DOT’s Maritime Administration administers the PIDP discretionary grant program, which awards funds on a competitive basis to projects that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within ports. Emissions mitigation projects that enhance goods movement, such as those that replace diesel-powered cargo handling equipment with more efficient battery-powered equipment, illustrate this commitment to both increasing the efficiency and reliability of cargo operations and reducing port-related environmental impacts.

Department: U.S. Department of Transportation
Funding Information: The next notice of funding opportunity of is expected to open in the second quarter of 2024.
Project Eligibility: Projects can include landside transportation or those that promote marine highway transportation. Grant funds may be used to fund low- to zero-emission landside equipment. 
Funding Program Website: United States Marine Highway Program | MARAD (dot.gov)

Description: DOT’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) administers the Marine Highway Program, which provides discretionary funding for projects that provide a coordinated and capable alternative to landside transportation or that promote marine highway transportation.  Grant funds may be used to fund low- to zero-emission landside equipment (including assorted marine handling equipment), infrastructure (including construction and upgrades of landside infrastructure like docks, ramps, and charging equipment), and vessels (including the purchase, lease, construction, or modification of documented vessels such as tugboats, barges, and smaller harbor craft).  

Department: Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Funding Information: $885 million available in 2024
Project Eligibility: Projects can include costs related to heavy-duty electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.
Funding Program Website: National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Program

Description: The $5 billion NEVI Formula Program, established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, provides dedicated funding to states to strategically deploy EV charging infrastructure and establish an interconnected national network to facilitate data collection, access, and reliability. Initial NEVI funding is directed to designated Alternative Fuel Corridors to build out this national network, particularly along the Interstate Highway System. As ports are often adjacent to the Interstate Highway System, State DOTs may place NEVI-funded chargers in locations beneficial to ports. When the national network is fully built out, funding may be used on any public road or in other publicly accessible locations. Eligible acquisition and installation costs include those directly related to light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty EV charging infrastructure. Port stakeholders may participate in the community engagement state DOTs are required to undertake as part of annual updates to their EV Infrastructure Deployment Plans.

Department: Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration
Funding Information: Forthcoming. See project website for more information.
Project Eligibility: Publicly accessible medium-/heavy-duty charging depots or similar commercial truck related facilities are eligible for CFI funding.
Funding Program Website: Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Discretionary Grant Program

Description: The CFI discretionary grant program (created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law) will provide $2.5 billion over five years in two funding categories: (1) Community Charging and Fueling Grants (Community Program) to install EV charging and alternative fuel in locations on public roads, schools, parks, and in publicly accessible parking facilities; and (2) Alternative Fuel Corridor Grants (Corridor Program) to deploy EV charging and hydrogen/propane/natural gas fueling infrastructure along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors. Publicly accessible medium-/heavy-duty charging depots or similar commercial truck related facilities are eligible for CFI funding.

Department: Department of Transportation, Federal Rail Administration
Funding Information: The next CRISI notice of funding opportunity is expected between December 2023 and January 2024, with more than $1 billion in anticipated available funds.
Project Eligibility: Projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail including projects that mitigate congestion rail bottlenecks; enhance multi-modal connections; and lead to new or substantially improved intercity passenger rail corridors.
Funding Program Website: Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program | FRA (dot.gov)

Description: DOT’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) administers the CRISI Program, which funds projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of intercity passenger and freight rail. This program provides funding for a wide range of railroad improvement projects, including those that mitigate congestion at intercity passenger and freight bottlenecks, enhance multi-modal connections, and lead to new or substantially improved intercity passenger rail corridors. While not a leading source of GHG emissions at ports, rail, especially switcher locomotives at near-port railyards, release GHG emissions and conventional air pollutants harmful to environmental and human health. States, port authorities, and Class 2 and 3 railroads are eligible recipients for CRISI grants. In support of FRA’s Locomotive Replacement Initiative, FRA recently selected several projects for the replacement of locomotives with battery electric switchers, which will reduce criteria pollutants, GHGs, and noise and vibration. In addition, projects for rail extensions and rail infrastructure in ports may be eligible under the CRISI Program and can facilitate greater use of rail, which is generally more efficient than trucks.

Department: U.S. Department of Energy  
Funding Information: Rolling funding timeline
Project Eligibility: Infrastructure, Vehicles and Equipment  
Funding Program Website: Title 17 Clean Energy Financing 

Description: Under the Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program (Title 17), LPO can finance projects in the United States that support clean energy deployment and energy infrastructure reinvestment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. As amended by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Title 17 has tens of billions in available loan authority that can be leveraged by eligible projects for port-related projects, including but not limited to financing the acquisition of innovative clean transportation and refueling solutions as well as for the construction of and other start-up costs associated with deploying these commercially ready solutions at ports. In addition, Title 17 can also potentially support eligible projects making improvements to or reinvesting in existing energy infrastructure, such as the electrification of vehicles or equipment at ports. Leveraging changes from IIJA, Title 17 is also able to support port projects that include state support through a qualifying State Energy Financing Institution; such projects would not be subject to Title 17’s innovative technology requirement under Section 1703.