Long Beach Port: Emission reduction goals achieved ahead of schedule

Air pollution emissions dropped significantly in 2022 at the Port of Long Beach in all categories, according to a new study that confirmed the Port had met all the goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan a year ahead of schedule.

Port of Long Beach

The Port’s annual emissions inventory report, presented to the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners on Monday, found that compared to 2005, diesel particulates are down 91%, nitrogen oxides have decreased 63%, and sulfur oxides have decreased 97%, all while cargo container volume increased 36%.

Progress for the annual inventory is always compared to 2005, the year before the original San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) was adopted.

According to the port, several salient factors impacted activity, efficiency, operations and thus emissions in the 2022 study year.

By mid-year, congestion related to the COVID-19 pandemic had subsided. Programs put into place to ease congestion, such as vessel queuing, reduced the number of ships waiting at anchor.

The port’s initiatives to make landside operations greener also continued to have an effect, with 19% of cargo-handling equipment at terminals now zero-emissions, as did the Port’s Clean Truck Program and the ongoing transition to cleaner trucks to move cargo.

“This emissions inventory is a feather in the Port’s cap, and we’re celebrating, but our sights are on the ultimate goals we’ve set, including zero-emissions cargo handling by 2030 and zero-emissions trucking by 2035,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bobby Olvera Jr.

“Everyone deserves a great deal of credit for their willingness to do the right thing for the planet, maintaining that commitment through some challenging recent years, and helping us reach these green milestones,” Port of Long Beach CEO Mario Cordero stated.

The port recently announced a California State Transportation Agency grant of $225 million for the Port’s critical investments in equipment and infrastructure for zero-emissions goals. In total, the Port has successfully secured approximately $331 million in grant funding for zero- and near-zero emissions projects. 

The port has also established the Zero Emissions, Energy Resilient Operations Program – known as ZEERO – to invest in projects aimed at reducing the impacts of operations and improving air quality. ZEERO includes a commitment to accelerate deployment of the lowest carbon emission alternatives for ocean-going vessels.

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