Tuesday, November 22, 2016

San Pedro Bay Ports Updating Clean Air Plan

By Mark Edward Nero

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have proposed an update to their San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan than includes aggressively deploying zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo-handling equipment, as well as expanding programs that reduce ship emissions.

Proposals also focus on freight infrastructure investment, innovation and technology to improve supply chain efficiency, comprehensive energy planning, and increased advocacy for stricter emissions standards and government incentives to help pay for projects that advance testing and commercialization of zero and near-zero emission vehicles.

The proposals were publicly unveiled Nov. 18 when port officials met to mark the 10th anniversary of the landmark initiative and unveil the CAAP 2017 Discussion Document, which outlines new concepts under consideration for the third iteration of the CAAP.

The discussion document prioritizes reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from port-related sources 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, which aligns with California’s clean air goals and objectives in the state’s new Sustainable Freight Action Plan, as well as efforts by the cities of Los Angeles and Long Beach to shrink GHG emissions ahead of state targets.

The joint meeting kicked off a three-month public review and comment period that extends through Feb. 17, 2017. The ports plan to incorporate public comments received and present the 2017 CAAP Update for final consideration by their governing boards in spring 2017 at another joint harbor commission meeting.

Developed with input from industry, government, community and environmental stakeholders, the Discussion Document recommends a new suite of incentives, lease requirements and regulatory approaches to achieve CAAP goals. The working document contains more bold measures for moving the San Pedro Bay ports toward their goal of eliminating all harmful air pollution from port-related sources.

They include near- and long-term proposals in five categories: Clean Vehicles; Equipment Technology and Fuels; Freight Infrastructure Investment and Planning; Freight Efficiency; and Energy Resource Planning.

The ports say that CAAP 2017 improves upon the initial plan adopted in 2006 – and updated in 2010 – to reduce emissions from all port-related sources: ships, trucks, trains, cargo-handling and smaller harbor craft, such as tugboats.

Under the CAAP, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach say they’ve have reduced diesel particulate matter about 85 percent, cut NOx in half, eliminated 97 percent of SOx, and lowered GHG an average of 12 percent, even while container volume has increased seven percent.

The findings also show the ports continue to exceed their 2023 targets for reducing DPM and SOx (77 percent and 93 percent respectively) and are closing in on their 2023 target of reducing NOx emissions by 59 percent.

The discussion document is available at www.polb.com, www.portoflosangeles.org and www.cleanairactionplan.org.

During the review period, the ports are expected to hold additional community meetings to gather public comment on the discussion document.

Written comments may be submitted to caap@cleanairactionplan.org at any time during the review period.