Tuesday, September 23, 2014

POLB: Air Emissions Down Significantly

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach has seen significant decreases in numerous types of pollution since it started tracking them in 2005, according to a newly-released air emissions inventory.

The inventory, which was completed in July, was publicly revealed for the first time during the Long Beach harbor board’s Sept. 22 meeting. The 300-plus page document states that sulfur oxides emitted from oceangoing vessels plummeted by 90 percent in 2013 when compared to the 2005 baseline, while diesel particulate matter dropped by 82 percent and nitrogen oxides fell 54 percent.

Part of the decline, however, can be attributed to fewer vessel calls at Long Beach.

According to the inventory, the port saw 1,921 vessels arrive in 2013, compared with 2,690 in 2005, a drop of 29 percent.

Of the 1,921, 911 were containerships, compared with 1,332 in 2005 a 32 percent drop.

However, despite the decrease in vessel arrivals over the eight years, the average number of TEUs aboard each vessel has climbed from 5,037 in 2005 to 7,388 last year.

One of the primary purposes of the POLB’s annual emissions inventories is to provide a progress update toward achieving an established standard of reducing diesel particulate emissions by 72 percent, nitrous oxide by 22 percent and sulfur oxide by 93 by 2014 compared to 2005 levels.

By 2023, the port wants have to reduced its emissions by 77 percent for DPM, 59 percent for NOx, and 93 percent for SOx, something that the latest inventory states the port is on track to do.