Friday, September 7, 2018

Long Beach Port Not Yet Meeting Clean Air Goals

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Long Beach’s latest emissions inventory showed that the seaport continues to exceed its 2023 clean air goals to lower diesel particles and sulfur oxides.

The 2023 goals seek a 77 percent reduction in diesel particulates, 93 percent drop in sulfur oxides and 59 percent cut back in nitrogen oxides.

Over the last 13 years, the port has launched a series of environmental initiatives, including the Clean Trucks Program, shore power for container vessels and the Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program to help reach those objectives. Current inventory shows that the port has decreased diesel particulates by 88 percent, sulfur oxides by 97 percent and nitrogen oxides by 56 percent since 2005.

The results come at the heels of significantly high cargo movement; in 2017, containers volumes were up 11 percent over the previous year.

“The Port has already made dramatic reductions in emissions, but we will not be finished or satisfied until we achieve our community health, air quality, and long-term greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Tracy Egoscue. “We know we’ve picked the so-called low-hanging fruit. That’s why the ambitious Clean Air Action Plan update passed last year leverages new technologies and fosters the development of new equipment to reach a zero-emissions goal in the terminals by 2030 and on the roads by 2035.”

Port Executive Director Mario Cordero said the port’s efficiency in moving containers measured by tons of emissions per TEU has improved by 23 percent since 2005.

“We are moving more cargo and creating more jobs with lessened environmental impacts,” he said.