Thursday, June 25, 2015

Oakland Port Emissions Down Significantly

By Mark Edward Nero

Port of Oakland efforts to cut diesel emissions are producing dramatic results, according to research results revealed June 24.

A University of California expert recently presented research showing a 76 percent drop in black carbon emission from harbor trucks, and a day later, Chinese officials from Tianjin, the world’s fourth-largest port, visited Oakland to find out how it’s done.

UC Civil and Environmental Engineering Prof. Robert Harley said state and port programs have modernized Oakland’s harbor truck fleet. The result: not only are black carbon emissions plummeting, but nitrogen oxides, which create ozone, are down 53 percent. Prof. Harley’s Oakland research, conducted between 2009 and 2013, was shared at a state Environmental Protection Agency webcast in Sacramento.

According to the port, its truck programs eliminated 14 tons of diesel particulate emissions between 2005 and 2012. During the same period, it eliminated another 151 tons of particulate matter from vessels. Further reductions have been achieved since then, the port said.

The port is on target to reach an 85 percent overall reduction in diesel emissions by 2020.

Port officials demonstrated Oakland’s vessel clean-up initiative to a five-member Tianjin delegation. The port’s shoreside power program connects vessels at berth to the landside power grid. By relying on shoreside electricity, vessels can switch off diesel generators formerly used to power their systems in port.

Tianjin, situated on North China’s Bohai Bay, is a commercial gateway to Beijing. It handles the equivalent of 13 million TEUs annually.