San Pedro Bay Ports Roll Out Strategies to Reduce GHG Emissions

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are proposing strategies that include deploying zero and near-zero emission trucks and cargo-handling equipment and expanding programs that reduce ship emissions for the next version of San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP).

Ports officials met on November 17, 2016, to mark the 10th anniversary of the 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.

The joint meeting kicked off a three-month public review and comment period that extends through February 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.

The working document is said to contain the boldest measures yet for moving the San Pedro Bay ports toward their ultimate goal of eliminating all harmful air pollution from port-related sources.

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.

“These updates will move the region closer to a zero emissions future,” Robert Garcia, Long Beach Mayor, said.

The target 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.

Cutting GHG emissions is expected to help the ports maintain and increase their progress in reducing other key pollutants, namely diesel particulate matter (DPM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx).

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.

One original strategy whose importance has increased over time is the Technology Advancement Program (TAP), created to accelerate the development and demonstration of emission reduction technology, the ports said.

To date, the ports have invested USD 15 million in 35 TAP projects.

Under the CAAP, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have reduced DPM up to 85 percent, cut NOx in half, eliminated 97 percent of SOx, and lowered GHG an average of 12 percent, all while container volume has increased by 7 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 59 percent.

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