Mitsuo Nagai, Chief Official of the Coastal Administration and Disaster Management Division of the Ports and Harbors Bureau of Japan, visited with the port’s environmental affairs department Jan. 11 at the Port of Houston Authority Executive Building.
The invitation was extended through the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and the World Affairs Council of South Texas.
Nagai oversees coastal administration, focusing on urban areas where large numbers of citizens and substantial property are concentrated. He also promotes disaster prevention measures for urban coastal regions and recovery projects.
Nagai is on a U.S. tour researching the effects of global warming and environmental requirements for port and harbors.
Port Houston Environmental Compliance Coordinator Kenneth Gathright provided a presentation on Port Houston’s environmental program and stewardship efforts highlighting the port’s efforts in replacing older drayage trucks, air quality best practices, Clean Air Strategy Plan and environmental grants.
The port has been awarded $6.7 million in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency during the past seven years and more than $2.2 million in TCEQ grants since its program began in 2002. Port Houston has a solid track record of securing state and local grant opportunities for air emission reductions.
“We also do our part to improve the environment through operational investments at our facilities such as our container tracking app, buffer zones, exhaust silencers to control noise levels and state of the art technology for truck entry gates,” said Gathright.