Thursday, July 30, 2015

POLB Issues Environmental Awards

By Mark Edward Nero

Shipping lines, environmental organizations, trucking companies, terminal operators and a railroad were honored July 29 by the Port of Long Beach during the port’s annual Environmental Achievement Awards. The awards are an outgrowth of the port’s Green Port Policy, a series of environmental initiatives.

During the event, Long Beach Mayor Garcia introduced the “Mayor’s Green Port Award,” which was presented to terminal operator Long Beach Container Terminal for its commitment to working with the port to implement clean technologies and to create the world’s most advanced container shipping terminal.

The port also gave out seven “Environmental Excellence” honors to companies and groups for going above and beyond the past decade in helping the port achieve its ambitious environmental goals. The awardees are:

• Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), for its performance in the port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program, which since 2005 has asked vessel operators to slow down to 12 knots near the port in order to reduce air pollution.

• Tesoro for top performance in the port’s Green Ship Program, which since 2012 has encouraged shipping lines to dispatch their cleanest ships to Long Beach.

• An environmental coalition including the Natural Resources Defense Council, Coalition for Clean Air, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice and Communities for Clean Ports/EndOil, for highlighting environmental issues and “bringing about meaningful change.”

• The SSAT/Matson terminal for its consistently high performance in the port’s stormwater runoff control program, which seeks to improve and safeguard water and sediment quality in the harbor.

• Ability Tri-Modal trucking company for leadership in the port’s Clean Trucks Program, which has slashed diesel pollution from trucks by 90 percent since 2008.

• Trucking company Total Transportation Services, also for leadership in the Clean Trucks Program and in technology advancement.

• Pacific Harbor Line, the port’s short line railroad, for its pursuit of cleaner locomotives to move freight in the harbor complex.

In addition, nine vessel operators overall were honored at the event as top performers in the port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program.

Winners who slowed down within 20 nautical miles were: Carnival Cruise Lines, CMA CGM, Hanjin Shipping Co., Matson, Inc. and Alaska Tanker Co. Alaska Tanker received special honors for 100 percent compliance from 20 miles since 2006.

In the 40-nautical-mile category, the winners were COSCO, “K” Line, MOL and Mediterranean Shipping Co. Also, over 150 vessel operators earned the Green Flag for their participation in the program in 2014.