LA, Long Beach Ports Approve New Clean Air Strategies

Image Courtesy: Port of Los Angeles

The governing boards of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have approved the 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update, ushering in a new era of clean air strategies for moving cargo through the nation’s busiest container port complex.

Building on the clean air gains achieved since the ports adopted the CAAP in 2006, the 2017 CAAP is a comprehensive plan for pursuing the ultimate goal of eliminating all harmful air emissions from port-related sources – ships, trucks, cargo handling equipment, locomotives and harbor craft.

Targets for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) from port-related sources to combat global warming and climate change are a new element of the 2017 CAAP. The document calls for the ports to reduce GHGs 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

The GHG targets add to the ports’ existing goals for reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx). By 2023, the ports aim to cut emissions of DPM 77 percent, NOx 59 percent, and SOx 93 percent below 2005 levels. Intensifying efforts to reduce GHGs is expected to further lower DPM, NOx and SOx emissions.

“This update to the Clean Air Action Plan is an important step toward our ambitious goal of zero emissions landside goods movement by 2035, and I look forward to making even more progress with our partners in the months and years to come,” Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles Mayor, said.

“These new policies and strategies are some of the most progressive air quality rules in the nation,” Robert Garcia, Long Beach Mayor, commented.

The document identifies four categories of coordinated strategies including clean vehicles, equipment technology and fuels, infrastructure investment and planning, operational efficiency throughout the supply chain, and energy resource planning.

In addition to incorporating regional, state and federal standards and regulations, the 2017 CAAP integrates joint zero-emission initiatives the two mayors announced in June. The initiatives include new investments in clean technology, expanded use of alternatives for reducing at-berth ship emissions, and a demonstration of up to 100 zero-emission trucks in the next few years.

The estimated cost of implementing the 2017 CAAP ranges from USD 7 billion to USD 14 billion.

The update relies on a framework to assess the feasibility of new technologies — to determine workability and affordability, and to demonstrate the adequacy of supporting infrastructure.

Recent air emissions inventories show the ports have surpassed the 2023 pollution reduction goals for DPM (87 percent) and SOx (97 percent) and are close to reaching their goal for reducing NOx (56 percent). They also show emissions are declining while cargo volumes are rising, confirming the ports are growing green. The combined port complex is on pace in 2017 for the busiest year ever, the two ports said in a statement.

The ports intend to expand their Technology Advancement Program (TAP) to include technologies and approaches that help meet their new goals for reducing GHGs.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the nation, handling approximately 40 percent of the US total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports.

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