An aerial view of the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The reported spill occurred south of Terminal Island (bottom left).

Five companies were honored in San Pedro this week by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for their efforts to fight against harmful emissions at the 6th Annual Clean Air Action Plan Air Quality Awards.
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, OOCL USA Inc., Foss Maritime Co., APL and Knight Transportation were awarded for their work in trying to cut emissions at the port. The winners who were eligible because they are either port tenants or port-related businesses, were judged by a panel of port staff  and representatives from the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resource Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The awards were separated into three different categories-Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level, Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies and Innovative Operations That Improve Air Quality. In a press release, The Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz Ph.D. spoke of the company’s efforts to help build a greener and cleaner port.

“The significant air quality improvements that our two ports have achieved would not be possible without the leadership, cooperation and initiative of the tenants and customers doing business here,” Knatz said. “We sincerely appreciate all their efforts to support our mission of a greener, cleaner port community.”

APL, a global container transportation company which was recognized for the second year in a row, was celebrated for its air quality improvement technology. The company was the first to install and test “seawater scrubber” technology which helps reduce contaminants in the exhaust stream of engines, removes waste from wash water and helped maintain pH levels within International Maritime Organization guidelines.

Foss Maritime Co. developed, built and operates the first hybrid tugboat which has been deployed in the port since 2009. WWL has allowed third party verification of its greenhouse gas emissions since 2009 and their  “Salome” vessel was the first to qualify for a voluntary clean air incentive program which rewards ocean carriers whose ships are outfitted with Tier II or III engines. OOCL USA Inc. signed a “green lease” with the port and pledged to reduce harmful emissions by 50 percent and Knight Transportation was recognized for its dedication to using newer, cleaner trucks in its fleet (half of the company’s trucks at the port are 2010 models or newer).

In November of 2006, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach adopted the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan which was aimed at reducing health risks from air pollution from port-related traffic. The two ports are the two busiest seaports in the United States and account for $355 billion in trade each year while providing thousands of jobs for Southern California.

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Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.