Or at least, we can expect to breathe a bit easier by 2012. That's the year by which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hopes to see a big decrease in greenhouse gases and air pollution caused by ground freight transportation. Through its SmartWay Transport Partnership, a voluntary public-private partnership between the EPA and the freight industry, the agency hopes to bring about annual reductions of up to 66 million metric tons in carbon dioxide emissions and a 200,000-ton reduction in nitrogen oxides.
And bit by bit, it's getting there. Although the SmartWay partnership is only about a year old, it reached a major milestone recently when it picked up its 100th member: J&R Schugel Trucking of New Ulm, Minn. Member companies commit to environmental improvement goals over a three-year period by adopting improved practices (such as reducing idling and finding fuel-efficient routes), processes and energy-saving technologies.
For more information on the Smartway Transport Partnership, visit www.epa.gov/smartway.