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October 22, 2013 8:40 AM, EDT

Freight Industry Leaders Honored by EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency honored 55 freight transportation companies Oct. 22 for their achievements in reducing carbon pollution and other harmful emissions.

The companies that received the 2013 SmartWay Excellence Award were recognized at the annual conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in Denver.

"This year’s SmartWay Excellence Award recipients show that reducing carbon pollution is good for business and good for the environment,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “They’re showing how SmartWay business leaders can outcompete the rest of the world while reducing costs and improving the fuel and freight efficiency of their transportation operations.”

American Trucking Associations leaders also congratulated several members who were honored.

“An important part of improving our image as an industry is changing the public perception that our industry belches the black smoke of the 1970s into the air,” said outgoing ATA Chairman Michael Card, president of Combined Transport Inc. in Central Point, Ore. “These companies are at the vanguard of doing that by showing just how green and responsible trucking can be, and they should be commended for their efforts.”

EPA started the program in 2004 to improve environmental performance in the freight industry.  Since then, SmartWay partners have saved 65 million barrels of oil, the equivalent of 5 million cars off the road for the year.