The Port of Long Beach notched clean air records in its latest study of air pollution emissions, including an 88 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter, continuing more than a decade of air quality improvements.
The first phase of the zero-emissions Long Beach Container Terminal opened on Pier E in 2016, helping to drive down the air pollution tallied in the Port’s annual Emissions Inventory, which was completed this week. The Port has been monitoring its progress in air quality improvements since 2005.
“The Port of Long Beach, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles, has been a global leader in reducing pollution associated with goods movement,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We’re committed to a zero-emissions future and our Port continues to prove that you don’t have to sacrifice the environment for a strong economy.”
The inventory, conducted by an independent consultant, found the Port’s aggressive actions to cut pollution have decreased diesel particulate matter a record 88 percent since 2005. Smog-forming nitrogen oxides were down 56 percent, also a record. Sulfur oxides held steady at 97 percent lower and greenhouse gases are down 22 percent, another record.
As part of the first Clean Air Action Plan adopted in 2006, the Port’s efforts to improve air quality have included the Clean Trucks Program, low-sulfur fuel regulations for ships, increased use of shore power for container ships and the Port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program. The Port remains focused on continued reductions through increased use of on-dock rail, advanced clean-air technologies, and joint efforts with Port of Los Angeles to finalize the latest update to the Clean Air Action Plan this fall.
“Our pollution-reduction strategies begin before a vessel enters the harbor and continue after cargo leaves on a truck or locomotive,” said Harbor Commission President Lou Anne Bynum. “This is a model we worked hard to achieve at the Port of Long Beach, and it’s one we’ll continue to improve until we reach zero emissions.”
With the opening of Long Beach Container Terminal, 11 percent of the Port’s fleet of cargo-handling equipment is zero-emissions.
“We have a greater percentage of our cargo-handling equipment operating at zero emissions than any other seaport in the country,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “As we chase our goal of becoming a zero-emissions port, it’s important for us to increase that number to help make the technology more commercially viable.”
The annual emissions inventory is reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District.