The bustling activity of ports is essential to global trade and commerce, but it also comes with environmental challenges. Recognizing the critical role of ports in our infrastructure and supply chain, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched the Clean Ports Program, an initiative aimed at addressing public health and environmental impacts while fostering sustainability within the port industry.

About the program

Envisioned under the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, the Clean Ports Program allocates a substantial $3 billion to advance zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure, as well as climate and air quality planning at U.S. ports. This funding not only supports cleaner air for nearby communities but also positions ports as catalysts for transformative change across the freight sector.

Clean Ports Program Goals 

The program sets ambitious goals to lay the groundwork for a transition towards fully zero-emissions operations at ports, aiming to:

  • Build a foundation for the adoption of zero-emission technologies, driving a shift towards sustainability.
  • Reduce diesel pollution, including criteria pollutants, greenhouse gases, and air toxics, particularly in near-port communities.
  • Ensure robust community engagement and emissions reduction planning become standard practices within the port industry.

Notices of Funding Opportunities 

EPA has announced two distinct Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) to distribute the allocated $3 billion:

  • Zero-Emission Technology Deployment Competition with a focus on funding zero-emission port equipment and infrastructure to mitigate mobile source emissions at U.S. ports.
  • Climate and Air Quality Planning Competition for funding climate and air quality planning activities at U.S. ports, including emissions inventories, strategy analysis, community engagement, and resiliency measures identification.

Both competitions are now open until the application deadline on May 28, 2024. EPA anticipates notifying selectees by September 2024, with awards scheduled for December 2024.

Application process and eligibility

Eligible entities include port authorities, governmental agencies, air pollution control agencies, and private entities operating port facilities or related technology. The application process involves electronic submission through, requiring registration with a Unique Entity Identifier and an active registration with the System for Award Management (

To aid potential applicants, EPA provides various tools and resources, including sample project narratives, application attachments, and technical resources for ports. These resources aim to streamline the application process and ensure applicants have the necessary support to develop robust proposals. EPA fosters public engagement through webinars, events, and requests for information, allowing stakeholders to stay informed, ask questions, and provide feedback on the Clean Ports Program. 


Ivelina Kadiri

Policy Compliance Manager

About the author

Ivelina is a trend-seeking policy compliance manager who skillfully navigates complex regulatory landscapes and bridges the gap between sustainable transportation goals and actionable implementation.