Friday, June 14, 2013

Pacific Northwest Ports Update Clean Air Strategy

The ports in Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, British Columbia say they’re setting goals to reduce diesel emissions by 75 percent per ton of cargo by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020 and that combined with projected cargo growth, this could result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020.

The goals are part of the draft 2013 update of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy released June 11.

The 2013 update was developed based on the results of the 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory released in October 2012. The inventory found maritime-related air pollution has decreased since 2005, with much of the progress due to voluntary investments of the maritime industry and government agencies in cleaner technology, cleaner fuels and more efficient systems of operation.

“The good news is that emissions are down and in this strategy update we are setting more aggressive goals for the near future,” Port of Seattle Director of Environmental and Planning Stephanie Jones Stebbins said. “The draft Strategy Update includes both aggressive reduction goals and sector-specific actions to meet those goals.”

To develop and implement the 2007 strategy and 2013 strategy update, the three ports partnered with other government agencies responsible for protecting air quality in the airshed: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, Environment Canada and the political body Metro Vancouver.

The airshed centers on the marine area known as the Salish Sea and includes the greater Puget Sound area as well as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, Rosario Strait and other nearby waterways.

The ports are accepting public comments on the draft strategy through July 26 via open houses, in-person, mail and online.

Comments can be submitted to the Port of Tacoma online at or by mail at Port of Tacoma, P.O. Box 1837, Tacoma, WA 98401. More information is available at

Comments can also be submitted to the Port of Seattle by email at or in writing at PO Box 1209, Seattle WA 98111.

The draft plan can be viewed at