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Nation’s Second Largest Port Becomes First

Release Date: 11/20/2006
Contact Information: Dave Bary or Tressa Tillman at 214-665-2200 or

Houston’s Port recommits to premier environmental performance program

(Dallas, Texas – November 20, 2006) The Port of Houston Authority was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today for renewing its commitment to implement environmentally beneficial practices that go beyond state and federal regulatory requirements. Houston is the first and only port in the nation to achieve recognition in EPA’s Performance Track program.

As part of the National Environmental Performance Track program, the port has committed to reduce total water use by 5 percent, non-hazardous waste by 15 percent, emissions of volatile organic compounds by 15 percent, and energy use by 10 percent. It will also construct about 70 acres of valuable wetlands from recycled construction material.

“The Port of Houston Authority charted a new path for others to follow when it became the first port in the nation to join Performance Track three years ago,” said Richard E. Greene, EPA Regional Administrator. “They continue to encourage other top companies by showing that environmental stewardship and economic prosperity can go hand-in-hand.”

The Performance Track program recognizes facilities that work with their communities, set three-year goals for continuous improvements in environmental performance beyond regulatory compliance, and have internal systems in place to manage their environmental programs. Performance Track facilities must meet all environmental regulatory requirements and make additional commitments to the environment.

“The Port of Houston Authority is committed to taking the lead on environmental initiatives that provide quality of life improvements in neighboring communities, and being a part of the Performance Track Program reinforces this commitment. Our environmental stewardship is embraced by every level of our organization. It is and will continue to be engrained in every thing we do,” said H. Thomas Kornegay, Executive Director for the Port of Houston Authority.

The Port of Houston Authority is also a member of EPA’s innovative clean air program known as the Blue Skyways Collaborative and Clean Ports USA. The Blue Skyways Collaborative is implementing over $90 million in projects that use innovations in diesel engines, alternative fuels and renewable energy technologies to reduce air emissions along major transportation corridors. Clean Ports USA is an incentive-based, voluntary program designed to reduce emissions from existing diesel engines and nonroad equipment at ports with comprehensive strategies and information for the diverse range of ports and their staff.

The Performance Track program was named as one of 50 top government programs in the country by the Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The recognition was for uniqueness, effectiveness, significance and potential for replication.

Since the Performance Track program's inception in 2000, membership has grown to 417 members in 46 states and Puerto Rico, and those members have made 1,500 commitments to benefit the environment. To date, members have collectively reduced their water use by 3.5 billion gallons, cut the equivalent of 88,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and conserved more than 14,000 acres of land.

Performance Track members come from a wide range of industries, such as paper, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, resorts and government agencies, among others. More information about the Performance Track program is available at

More information about the Blue Skyways Collaborative is available at, and Clean Ports USA at

For more information about activities in EPA Region 6, please visit