The State Ports Authority has extended a voluntary agreement with the state to reduce air pollution, it was announced today.

Since 2007, the partnership with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control has reduced emissions from cargo-handling equipment, trucks, tug boats and a dredge boat, officials said.

The agreement, which runs through 2018, is marked as the state’s longest-running collaboration on air quality within the public sector, officials said.

As part of the agreement, DHEC will provide technical assistance and expertise in support of SPA’s operational improvements and environmental efforts.

SPA has already phased in cleaner equipment at all facilities, switched to ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in all port equipment and is designing the inland port in Greer to accommodate electronic gantry cranes for stacking containers.

“Our partnership with DHEC is an integral part of our overall environmental efforts, recognizing that a healthy, working port and a cleaner environment can be mutually compatible goals,” said Jim Newsome, chief executive of SPA.

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