Port of Oakland Strives for Zero-Emission Future

port-of-oaklandIllustration; Source: Wikimedia – under the CC BY 2.0 license; Image by: Daniel Ramirez

The US Port of Oakland has approved an air quality plan intended to ‘drastically’ cut diesel and greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the port’s maritime operations.

The plan, called the Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan, was approved by port commissioners last week.

The 259-page plan envisions zero-emission operations in the future, calling for changes in equipment, operations, fuels and infrastructure at the seaport.

The port said that the plan would provide a framework for maritime development for the next 30 years.

“The port’s Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond Plan sends a powerful message that the port will lead the way towards a post-carbon future,” Chris Lytle, Port of Oakland Executive Director, commented.

Some of the projects outlined in the plan are converting port fleet vehicles and equipment to zero-emission and installing electric infrastructure at container terminals. The plan also includes tracking yard equipment for fuel consumption, operability and performance as well as identifying cleaner fuels and alternative, renewable power sources.

As a corollary to the plan, commissioners asked for a report in six months on the feasibility of converting trucks and cargo-handling equipment to battery power. They also requested an update on the infrastructure needed to charge electric vehicles.

The Seaport Air Quality 2020 and Beyond plan is the successor to Oakland’s Maritime Air Quality Plan adopted a decade ago. That plan helped the port reduce diesel particulate matter by 81 percent while ship emissions dropped by 78 percent.

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