The Port of Virginia’s® ongoing effort to help protect the health of the Elizabeth River has, again, been recognized by a local organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the health of the river and Norfolk Harbor.

The port recently received its 22nd consecutive River Star Business Award, Sustained Distinguished Performance, from the Elizabeth River Project (ERP), a regional non-profit that a focuses on protecting the river and its watershed through supporting and promoting sustainable development and redevelopment, shoreline restoration and education.

Since 2001, ERP has recognized the port for pollution prevention, storm water control initiatives and habitat restoration like the development of oyster reefs and wetlands. This year, ERP recognized the port’s ongoing effort to reduce carbon emissions, continued innovation and tracking results. Some of those efforts include:

• Investments in efficient equipment – The port added 10 new hybrid shuttle trucks at VIG completing the replacement of 100 diesel carriers. The port is now testing zero emission yard tractors.

• Increasing efficiency at Virginia International Gateway (VIG) and Norfolk International Terminals (NIT) – The time a truck driver spends picking up or dropping off a container, known as driver “turn time”, is 40 minutes at VIG and 39 minutes at NIT. These turn times are the best in the US and equate to less idling emissions from trucks.

• Reducing waste and increasing recycling – The port increased recycling rates by tracking ship to shore crane demolition and recycling, totaling 8.4 million pounds of steel recycled.

• Reducing air emissions per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) – The port has seen a 53 percent reduction in fuel consumption per 10,000 TEU since 2017. This is largely because 30 percent of equipment is now electric and 21 percent is hybrid.

River Star recipients are chosen through peer review of documented results. Program participants are encouraged to focus on large opportunities to reduce toxic pollution or restore and conserve wildlife habitat.