Port of Long Beach Surpasses Air Pollution Reduction Milestones Set for 2014

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An annual study of port-related air pollution emissions found that the Port of Long Beach (POLB) surpassed each and every air pollution reduction standard set for 2014 by the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).

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Specifically, the port announced today, the study found that the POLB cut diesel particulates by 85 percent since 2005, which went beyond the CAAP goal of a 72 percent reduction in 2014.

“The Port of Long Beach remains the greenest Port in the world, reducing emissions while increasing economic activity,” said Mayor Robert Garcia in a statement. “The Port’s consistent commitment to sustainability and our environment should be celebrated.”

“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 Guzmán 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.”

In addition, smog-forming nitrogen oxides dropped 50 percent and sulfur oxides dropped 97 percent. The corresponding goals for the year are 22 percent and 93 percent.

In a release, the port credited such programs as the Clean Trucks Program, increased use of shore power for cargo ships, low-sulfur fuel regulations for ships and the Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program.

Both the 2014 levels of diesel particulates and sulfur dioxides improved from 2013 levels, measuring overall reductions were measured at 82 percent and 90 percent, respectively.

Nitrogen oxides increased slightly in the study, however, down 50 percent in 2014 compared to 54 percent in 2013, according to the release.

According to officials, the change in nitrogen oxide was attributed to more passenger cruise ship calls—234 calls in 2014 compared to 123 in 2013—and increased emissions from container ships at anchorage due to the congestion late last year.

The port’s continued efforts in improving air quality over the last decade is expected to reduce risks in surrounding areas for cancers and other serious illnesses such as asthma and chronic lung disease, Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Mitchell Kushner said.

“These lower emission levels translate into major public health benefits, and lead to a more vibrant and healthy community,” said Kushner. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and South Coast Air Quality Management District review the annual “emissions inventory.”

The 2006 Clean Air Action Plan outlines strategies to significantly reduce pollution from ships, locomotives, trucks, terminal equipment and harbor craft that move cargo, the release stated.

For the complete emissions inventory, go to www.polb.com/emissions.

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