Friday, March 29, 2013

LA Diesel Exhaust Levels Reach New Low

Concentrations of elemental carbon in the Port of Los Angeles area fell in 2012 to the lowest levels since the port began collecting data in 2005, new data from four air quality monitoring stations in and around the port show.

Elemental carbon is used as an indicator of diesel particulate matter, or DPM, which is the soot produced by the combustion of diesel fuel.

“I’m extremely pleased that we’ve been able to continue to significantly reduce diesel particulate matter in the communities in and around the port,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz said. “Year after year, air quality in the Los Angeles Harbor is improving as a result of substantial investments the port, its tenants and other port-related businesses have made by purchasing cleaner equipment and participating in a variety of emission-reduction initiatives.”

For calendar year 2012, elemental carbon was down by 72 percent in the Wilmington waterfront area, compared to calendar year 2006, the first full year of monitoring data collected. The San Pedro monitoring station showed a decrease of 61 percent, monitoring data shows.

These drops in elemental carbon happened even as cargo volumes at the port increased. In 2012, L.A. handled 1.7 percent more cargo than in 2011, but elemental carbon at both the Wilmington monitoring and San Pedro stations were 39 and 18 percent lower, respectively, than in 2011.

Since 2005 the port has operated four air quality measurement stations: one in San Pedro, another in Wilmington, and two inside the port complex. They measure air quality both in the port complex and in the communities downwind of the port, where air quality is affected by emissions from the ships, trucks, terminal equipment, harbor vessels and train locomotives that move cargo through the port.