Port of Baltimore

A cargo ship unloads using the new Panamax cranes at Ports America Chesapeake in the Port of Baltimore. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun / April 19, 2014)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded the Maryland Port Administration a $750,000 grant to extend the port of Baltimore's program to replace older, more polluting trucks with new ones, the port announced Monday.

Through the Dray Truck Replacement Program, the owners and operators of the diesel trucks that haul cargo in and out of the port can purchase newer, cleaner trucks that meet or exceed EPA emission standards.

Since the program began in 2012, 82 older trucks have been replaced with cleaner models. The grant is expected to help the port take at least 22 more older trucks off the road.

The grant was part of $4.2 million in Diesel Emission Reduction Act grants awarded by the EPA to six U.S. ports.

"Replacing older trucks that often emit higher levels of emissions with newer vehicles will help employees working at the port of Baltimore and residents in nearby local communities breathe a little easier," said Gov. Martin O'Malley.