Friday, August 10, 2012

Analysis Shows Pollution Reductions at Port of Long Beach

Port of Long Beach clean air programs slashed air pollution from port-related sources for the fifth year in a row, including a dramatic 75 percent reduction in airborne diesel particulates, according to an analysis of key pollutants comparing 2011 to 2005.

Over that six-year period, all key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced, according to the study. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides were cut 50 percent and 80 percent respectively from 2005 levels, and greenhouse gases were lowered by 23 percent.

The use of lower-sulfur, cleaner fuels by all waterfront equipment – but especially the oceangoing ships – and the phasing out of the oldest drayage trucks were the primary contributors to the air quality improvements.

On July 1, the port also implemented its “Green Ship Incentive Program,” which offers cash incentives to shipping lines for bringing the newest, cleanest cargo vessels to the Port of Long Beach. The program is the latest in a long line of efforts to improve air quality locally.

“With cleaner fuels, more shore power and other programs, we’re on track to continue to further reduce air pollution from the port,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Susan E. Anderson Wise said.

Each year, the port compiles an emissions inventory to calculate the amount of air pollution released from all port-related sources and compares the data with the baseline year of 2005. The latest report, which was released Aug. 6, is for the 2011 calendar year. The adjoining Port of Los Angeles released its own report Aug. 2, which found that strong anti-air pollution policies led to a decrease in cumulative harmful emissions at the port by as much as 76 percent from 2005 to 2011.

The LA study also says that container volumes increased six percent during that time period at the port. At Long Beach however, containerized cargo activity fell by 10 percent during the same timeframe.
Long Beach’s latest full pollution inventory can be seen at