Copyright 2007, Traffic World, Inc.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will implement environmental measures over the next five years that will reduce pollution from vessels, harbor craft, marine terminal operating equipment, trucks and trains by 45 percent.
The $2 billion program annually will eliminate 1,126 tons of particulate matter, 12,048 tons of nitrogen oxide and 2,209 tons of sulfur dioxide pollution, said Ashley Moore, environmental specialist associate at the Port of Long Beach.
Addressing a meeting of Women in International Trade-Orange County, she highlighted the details of the Clean Air Action Plan adopted last November by the neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
The action plan is needed because the port complex is the largest source of pollution in Southern California. The ports account for 12 percent of particulates and 9 percent of the nitrogen oxide in the Los Angeles basin.
The ports'' share of those pollutants will nearly triple by 2020 if no action is taken; most pollutants come from oceangoing vessels and trucks.
The two ports together have committed $417 million to the program, and the local regulatory body, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, will contribute $47 million.
The bulk of the money, some $1.6 billion, will be raised through "impact fees" and a portion of the $2 billion infrastructure bonding bill that California voters approved last November.
The plan is considered revolutionary because the two ports agreed to set common environmental standards and implement the measures through leases and, when necessary, tariff changes.
While other U.S. ports are also developing plans to reduce pollution, none have gone as far as the nation''s two largest container ports. Nor do most other ports intend at this time to require the types of controversial pollution measures that will be standard in Southern California.
For example, over the next five to eight years, the ports will each have 15 berths equipped to operate vessels from shore-side electrical power, Moore said. Their goal is for all container ships to "cold iron" while at berth.
To reduce emissions, the ports currently encourage vessel operators to reduce their speed within 20 miles of the coast. The goal is to make the speed-reduction program mandatory and to extend the boundary to 40 miles.
The ports intend to replace or retrofit with cleaner engines the approximately 10,000 trucks that call regularly in the harbor. Railroads will also have to deploy newer, cleaner locomotives in their harbor fleets.
Marine terminal operators will be required to replace high-polluting container-handling equipment and to use cleaner fuels. In some cases, operators will have to replace machines that are relatively new with cleaner equipment, Moore said.