Tuesday, August 20, 2013

POLB: Diesel Pollution Down 81 Percent
Since 2005

The Port of Long Beach has managed to cut diesel particulates by 81 percent since 2005 due to focused efforts to reduce air pollution caused by goods movement, according to the latest annual analysis by the port.

The annual analysis of air pollution from port sources is conducted to check the port’s progress in improving air quality. It’s a byproduct of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan ― created in 2006 ― which maps out a strategy to reduce or prevent pollution from the ships, trucks, locomotives, tractors and cranes that move cargo.

The results for calendar year 2012, which were released Aug. 19, mark six straight years of improving air quality in the harbor area, according to the study.

Compared to 2005 emissions levels, all key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced last year, according to the data. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have been cut 54 percent and 88 percent respectively.

Greenhouse gases were lowered by 24 percent. The reduction in pollutants far outpaced a 10 percent decline in containerized cargo activity in the same period.

“We’ve been aggressively pursuing cleaner air for a long time and as you can see from these numbers, we are succeeding,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Thomas Fields said. “We’ve committed to do even more, to continue to reduce air pollution and its health effects.”

Among the reasons cited by the port for the air quality improvements are bigger ships carrying cargo more efficiently, newer ships with cleaner engines, increasing use of shore power, and a new low-sulfur fuel rule for ships that started in August 2012.

The latest emissions inventory and those for previous years can be seen at www.polb.com/emissions.