Port of Long Beach continues reducing harmful emissions

California’s Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest container port in the United States, has reduced diesel soot by 88 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 19 per cent compared to 2005 levels, a newly completed study of air pollution at the port found.

The port’s new emissions inventory report shows the port continued to demonstrate low levels of emissions for diesel particulates and sulfur oxides in 2019 despite containerized cargo at the Port of Long Beach growing 14 per cent since 2005.

port of long beach
Source: Port of Long Beach

According to the 2019 inventory, diesel particulates have dropped by 88 per cent. Sulfur oxides are down 97 per cent, while smog-forming nitrogen oxides have decreased 58 per cent. Additionally, GHG emissions reductions were 19 per cent. The pollution levels are all compared to the 2005 baseline, the year before the original San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) was adopted.

“Together with our supply chain partners, we have made significant progress in improving air quality and reducing health risks,” Frank Colonna, Long Beach Harbor Commission President, commented.

“Although we are meeting most of our emissions goals, it is becoming clear we are at the limits of existing technology. That’s why we are investing millions to develop and deploy the cleaner equipment.”

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The CAAP was last updated in 2017 and incorporates numerous strategies to continue to reduce emissions from port-related operations in San Pedro Bay.

The port is making a significant investment into developing and demonstrating the first-of-its-kind, zero-emissions equipment through the Technology Advancement Program, and other grant-funded projects, to support future wide-scale deployment. POLB is currently implementing demonstration projects that will test 60 different pieces of zero-emissions equipment. Approximately 15 per cent of the cargo-handling fleet at the port is already zero-emission fleet today.

“Right now, we have $150 million in projects all across our port, all in the name of cleaner air. We are aggressively pursuing the CAAP goals of having a zero-emissions cargo-handling fleet by 2030 and all zero-emissions drayage trucks by 2035,” Mario Cordero, Port of Long Beach Executive Director, said.

The Port of Long Beach serves as a gateway for trans-Pacific trade. With 175 shipping lines connecting Long Beach to 217 seaports, the port handles $170 billion in trade annually.