Air & Water Quality

Improving air quality in the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria Region remains a priority for Port Houston. The port utilizes:
• new technologies
• alternative fuels
• Strategic fleet replacement with low-emission vehicles and equipment
• employee vanpool program.

Clean Air Strategy Plan (CASP)
• works to reduce real and sustainable maritime and port-related emissions
• multi-source, multi-pollutant, multi-year program has found economically feasible ways and means to achieve emissions reductions from intermodal interests throughout the port area

Goods Movement Air Emissions Inventory
Finalized in 2009, the study found
• ocean going vessels accounted for 36 percent of the nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions
• heavy duty diesel-fueled vehicles 35 percent
• cargo handling equipment 15 percent
• locomotives 13 percent
• and harbor vessels one percent

Drayage Loan Program
Port Houston has partnered with Houston-Galveston Area Council  and the Environmental Defense Fund in the Port Drayage Truck Bridge Loan Program

Program Features:

  • received $9 million from the EPA’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) SmartWay Program
  • Port Houston contributed an additional $50,000
  • On average, four trucks a month, or 50 trucks a year, are approved for funding

Several workshops have been sponsored by the port for trucking companies and independent owner/operators to learn about funding opportunities!

The Port of Houston is a highly industrialized area surrounding the Houston Ship Channel. The ship channel also flows through environmentally sensitive Galveston Bay. Maintaining water quality is essential for this important wildlife habitat and recreational asset.

As a part of its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, Port Houston has conducted a comprehensive mapping project for all its terminals. The project located all storm water drainage features such as inlets, drains, culverts, ditches and trench drains using GPS. The data was then GIS mapped and drainage maps for all terminals have been created. A storm water outfall survey was conducted to ensure that storm water outfalls were in good condition and any non-storm water discharges were identified.

An innovative storm water treatment system at the Bayport Container Terminal uses a first flush detention pond to prevent solids and contaminates from reaching Galveston Bay.

Learn more about our stormwater program here.

Regional Water Quality
TCEQ continuous regional water quality monitoring stations, data, locations, and photos of monitoring sites can be found here.

Port Houston has released its 2013 Goods Movement Air Emissions Inventory
The 2013 Goods Movement Air Emissions Inventory (GMEI) uses the latest emission inventory tools and methodologies to quantify mobile source emissions that are associated with Port Houston operations. The mobile sources include ocean-going vessels (OGV), harbor vessels (HV), cargo handling equipment (CHE), locomotives, and heavy-duty diesel vehicles (HDDV). The focus of this inventory is on emissions from Port Houston related cargo movements that transited the Houston-Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) non-attainment ozone area in 2013.

The executive summary of the inventory is available online here and for the full report, please contact Ken Gathright at or at 713-670-2690.