The Port of Hueneme announced Dec. 26 that it has secured more than $3 million in federal funds to reduce air emissions, improve its infrastructure and facilitate food distribution and education in Ventura County.
The grant comes from the New Markets Tax Credits Program, a subsidiary of the U.S. Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The financing is largely designated for the port’s
Shoreside Power project, but will also support the development of a new nonprofit to bring millions of pounds of food to federally-designated “food deserts” in the region in collaboration with the existing Ventura County-based nonprofit FOOD Share.
The shore power system will allow ships to shut down their diesel engines while docked, cutting emissions of particulate matter by 92 percent, nitrous oxide by 98 percent and carbon dioxide by 55 percent, according to a news release. The port has also received financing from the California Air Resources Board to offset the purchase and installation of the state-of-the-art system.
Jason Hodge, president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners, said the federal program will attract private equity investment to the port’s projects.
“It is a natural step in the board’s continuing efforts to bring value and economic vitality to our customers and our region,” Hodge said in a statement. “This program will bring nearly $3 million dollars of added funding underscoring our significant role within our community and California’s economy.”
The harbor moves $7 billion in goods each year and its operations generate $1 billion in economic activity and create 9,448 jobs, according to the commission. Trade through the Port of Hueneme also generates more than $63 million in annual state and local taxes.
The project will create an additional 160 construction jobs and result in significant improvements to the Arcturus Station site in Oxnard, according to the statement.