Tuesday, August 27, 2013

POLA Study: Air Pollution Down Significantly

New data shows air pollution associated with operations at the Port of Los Angeles is at its lowest level since the port adopted a formal plan to reduce harmful emissions in 2006.

The port’s 2012 air emissions inventory shows that LA’s seven years of aggressive clean air strategies have been record-setting. The results include a 79 percent drop in diesel particulate matter since the start of pollution reduction efforts.

The emissions inventory also shows that the amount of diesel particulate emissions related to moving 10,000 20-foot containers through the port in 2012 was 81 percent lower than the emissions output related to moving the same number of containers through LA in 2005.

“Every year really does count and our systematic approach has accelerated our progress,” Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski said in a statement released by the port. “Much of the credit is shared by our industry partners who have invested in technology that in some cases surpass government regulations.”

The port’s air emissions inventory tracks the progress of a comprehensive suite of clean air measures, requirements and incentives to reduce harmful emissions from all sources associated with port operations: ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling equipment and smaller harbor craft. The latest findings are based on data from the 2012 calendar year and compared with data collected annually since the baseline year of 2005.

In addition to exceeding the port’s 2014 goal for diesel particulates, the latest data shows a record plunge in emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx), which have fallen 56 percent and 88 percent respectively since 2005.

The results exceed the port’s 2014 goal for NOx and put the port within striking distance of its goal to cut SOx emissions 93 percent by 2014. Both NOx and SOx are key components of smog.

For SOx alone, 2012 marked the greatest reduction in a single year since 2005, according to port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz.

“This past year, SOx emissions were cut in half,” she said. “That doesn’t happen without teamwork, which shows how far we’ve come and what ports, ocean carriers, regulatory agencies and others can do together.”

The SOx findings are especially significant to the port because they reflect major progress in tackling vessel emissions. Ships remain the biggest generators of port-related air pollution and they pose the greatest challenge because they are a mobile source regulated by international convention.

The Port of LA’s full 2012 air emissions inventory report can be read at http://www.portoflosangeles.org/pdf/2012_Air_Emissions_Inventory.pdf.