The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach approved an update to their ground-breaking 2006 clean air action that calls for a significant reduction in pollution from vessels and line-haul locomotives.
The 2010 document is the first update to the original CAAP, a planning document that sets goals for reducing harmful emissions from vessels, harbor craft, marine terminal operating equipment, trucks and trains.
The CAAP, approved by the two ports in 2006, is considered to be the nation’s strictest port pollution-reduction plan. It is a living document that will be updated regularly as technology advances.
Under the CAAP, air emissions related to port-facilitated goods movement declined 33 percent to 56 percent since 2005, depending upon the pollutant and source of emissions.
The ports’ clean-truck plans, which are part of the CAAP, have been especially effective in reducing pollution from trucks. Since the plan was implemented on Oct. 1, 2008, diesel particulate matter emissions have been reduced by about 80 percent, which is two years ahead of the 2012 goal. This was accomplished by replacing old, polluting vehicles with modern, low-emission trucks.
A similar strategy involving ocean vessels and locomotives is contained in the CAAP update, approved Monday at a joint meeting of the two harbor commissions. The update calls for a preferential deployment system in which shipping lines will bring their newest, cleanest vessels into their Southern California services as quickly as possible.
Also, the ports will work with the ocean carriers to determine what air technology retrofits can be made to engines on existing vessels to reduce pollution.
Similarly, the CAAP update sets goals and standards to prompt railroads to bring their newest and cleanest locomotives to near-dock rail yards and to the ports. As the ports noted in their supplemental response to comments on the CAAP update, a fundamental principle of the clean-air plan is that all major port-related emissions sources should contribute a fair share to emissions reductions.
As noted under the clean-air plans of the South Coast Air Quality Management District and California’s State Implementation Plan, locomotives will achieve their fair share of emissions reductions through the introduction of Tier 4 line-haul locomotives.
The CAAP update sets a goal of 95 percent Tier 4 engines for line-haul locomotives by 2020. Railroads questioned this goal, noting that Tier 4 engines do not yet exist, so the ports included a minimum performance requirement of 50 percent Tier 4 and 40 percent Tier 3 line-haul locomotives in the fleets by 2023.
The ports intend to produce additional CAAP updates as pollution-reduction technologies are developed in the years ahead.
--Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at email@example.com.