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Brown goes green

HOUSTON, Tex. -- UPS and the Houston-Galveston Area Council's (H-GAC) Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program have team...

HOUSTON, Tex. — UPS and the Houston-Galveston Area Council’s (H-GAC) Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program have teamed up to put a serious dent in Houston’s air pollution.

Thanks to supplemental funding from the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program, UPS has purchased 68 large, low-emission tractor-trailers for its Houston-Galveston fleet. Starting with the holiday season, when package shipments reach an all-time high, the vehicles will reduce NOx emissions released to the atmosphere by approximately 48 tons annually.

The supplemental funding allowed UPS to replace a like number of big tractor rigs with environmentally friendly alternatives even though the original tractors weren’t old enough for retirement. By converting the 68, UPS is proactively helping the Houston-Galveston region work toward the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards. The new vehicles join UPS’s nationwide fleet of more than 1,437 low-emission vehicles and 1,800 alternative-fuel vehicles.

"Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles recognizes UPS as a Clean Air Leader and commends the company for playing a vital role in cleaning up the region’s air and helping improve the quality of life for area residents," said Shelley Whitworth, H-GAC’s Air Quality Program Manager.

Since 2002, the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program has allocated more than $20 million for projects to reduce vehicle emissions and build necessary fueling infrastructure. These projects alone reduce about 480 tons of NOx from the region’s air each year. In an effort to improve the region’s air quality, the program continues to seek partnerships with fleet owners and operators in the region.

“Reducing UPS’s impact on the environment is a strategic objective of the company, and that’s why we are proud of our partnership with H-GAC to speed the deployment of these low emission tractors in our Houston fleet," said Ron Kirby, UPS’s vice president for automotive engineering. "We will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to replace older vehicles in our fleet with those using new, low emission or alternative fuel technology."

To date, $50 million in federal funding remains available through the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program and eligible businesses that partner with the program will be reimbursed for up to 75 percent of the cost of fleet conversions. Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles will continue to accept project submissions for consideration through Dec. 19, 2003. When emission reductions become federally mandated, financial assistance for conversion to low-emission standards no longer will be available.

For more information on UPS’s environmental initiatives and sustainable business practices, visit To learn more about the Clean Cities/Clean Vehicles program, visit

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