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Port Earns 15th RiverStar Award; Honor Recognizes Ongoing Environmental Stewardship Efforts
POV Recognized for Oyster Reef Development and Growing Barge Use
NORFOLK, VA – The Port of Virginia’s® ongoing effort to reduce its environmental impact the Elizabeth River has again been recognized by a local organization dedicated to restoring and preserving the health of the river and Norfolk Harbor.
Today the port received its 15th consecutive RiverStar Business Award, Sustained Distinguished Performance, Model Level, from the Elizabeth River Project (ERP), a regional non-profit that a focuses on protecting the river and its watershed through supporting and promoting sustainable development and redevelopment, shoreline restoration and education.
“Sustainability is one of our six core values,” and John F. Reinhart CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority. “It is also one of the driving factors behind every decision we make at The Port of Virginia. As a key economic engine for Virginia, we must ensure we can serve that critical role for generations to come. That means we must be sustainable financially, operationally and environmentally.”
This year the port was recognized for its partnership with ERP to build 4.5 acres of oyster reef near Norfolk International Terminals and a 22 percent volume increase on the Richmond Express, a thrice-weekly barge service that connects the port’s terminals in the Norfolk Harbor to Richmond Marine Terminal (RMT). Use of the barge cuts emissions by reducing the number of trucks traveling I-64 between the port and RMT.
The annual award with its Sustained Distinguished Performance, Model Level, designation is given to those companies that complete a significant new initiative while maintaining exemplary environmental performance.
In 2008, the port’s Environmental Management System (EMS) was recognized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) by meeting all of the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard, making Virginia the first East Coast port to operate under this certification. The EMS ensures the port’s colleagues and tenant activities operate proactively with an informed ability to respond to environmental risks while improving performance through the more effective use of resources and reduction in waste.
“Encouraging energy conservation, reducing air emissions, reducing the number of by-products in the solid waste stream, increasing employee participation in stewardship and continually improving environmental performance all leads to environmental sustainability,” Reinhart said. “We are the Mid-Atlantic’s global gateway, but we are also focused on being an environmentally aware and responsible member of our community.”
The port is in the midst of a combined $695 million expansion at Virginia International Gateway and Norfolk International Terminals, its two primary container terminals. When the expansion is complete in 2020, the port’s annual container throughput capacity will have increased by 40 percent or 1 million container units. As part of the expansion the port will cycle-out aging cargo conveyance equipment, replace it with new hybrid-electric equipment and employ the latest technology to drive efficiency and reduce emissions.
RiverStar recipients are chosen through peer review of documented results. Program participants are encouraged to focus on large opportunities to reduce toxic pollution or restore and conserve wildlife habitat.
The Virginia Port Authority (VPA) is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The VPA owns and through
its private operating subsidiary, Virginia International Terminals, LLC (VIT), operates four general cargo facilities Norfolk
International Terminals, Portsmouth Marine Terminal, Newport News Marine Terminal and the Virginia Inland Port in
Warren County. The VPA leases Virginia International Gateway and Richmond Marine Terminal. In fiscal year 2013, The
Port of Virginia provided more than 530,000 jobs and generated $88.4 billion in total economic impact throughout the