Monday, October 19, 2015

POLB Surpasses Pollution Reduction Goals

By Mark Edward Nero

The Port of Long Beach has surpassed every air pollution reduction milestone set for 2014 by its San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, according to an analysis released Oct. 13.

The latest annual inventory of port-related air pollution emissions found the port’s efforts to reduce pollution have cut diesel particulates by 85 percent since 2005, surpassing the Clean Air Action Plan goal for 2014 of a 72 percent reduction. The CAAP, created in 2006, outlines strategies to significantly reduce pollution from ships, locomotives, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft that move cargo.

In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have dropped 50 percent and 97 percent respectively, according to the analysis. The corresponding goals for the year are 22 percent and 93 percent.

The reasons for the air quality improvements include the Clean Trucks Program, low-sulfur fuel regulations for ships, increased use of shore power for cargo ships and the port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program.

The 2014 levels of diesel particulates and sulfur dioxides improved from 2013 levels, when overall reductions were measured at 82 percent and 90 percent, respectively. However, nitrogen oxides increased slightly in the study, down 50 percent in 2014 compared to 54 percent in 2013.

Officials attributed the nitrogen oxide change to more passenger cruise ship calls -- 234 calls in 2014 compared to 123 the year prior -- and increased emissions from container ships at anchorage due to the traffic congestion last year.

“When the Clean Air Action Plan was adopted almost 10 years ago, the port made a promise to the community to reduce air pollution and to be a better neighbor,” Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzm├ín said in a statement. “While our work is not finished, these results show our commitment to living up to our responsibilities as the Green Port.”

For the complete emissions inventory, go to