The Port of Los Angeles on Thursday adopted a clean-air program for vessels that is projected to significantly reduce harmful emissions from the largest source of air pollution in the harbor.
Los Angeles is the first U.S. port to adopt the Environmental Ship Index adopted by 14 European ports to reduce emissions of sulfur oxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide and diesel particulate matter.
The ESI is a Web-based tool developed by the World Ports Climate Initiative, a project of the International Association of Ports and Harbors. Geraldine Knatz, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, is the current chair of the WPCI and president of the IAPH.
Under the ship index program, vessel operators are rewarded for implementing voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements that reduce vessel emissions beyond the regulatory standards set by the International Maritime Organization.
Los Angeles will reward vessel operators with financial incentives ranging from $250 to $5,250 per vessel call if they meet certain requirements. Incentives are based on the vessel’s engine specifications and emissions certification, the use of low-sulfur fuel and plug-in ready capacity for use of shore-side electrical power at berth.
Vessel operators will also receive financial incentives if the ships have a Tier II or Tier III engine, or if they participate in a demonstration program to test and improve vessel emissions reduction technology.
The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have reduced emissions from all transportation sources under the Clean Air Action Plan they adopted in 2006. Nevertheless, vessel emissions remain the largest single source of air pollution in the harbor.
The port sees the ESI program as another measure to reduce vessel emissions. “The ESI sets the gold standard for green shipping, and we encourage other ports to follow suit,” Knatz said.
The Port of Los Angeles developed its ESI with input from the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association, which represents shipping lines that call at West Coast ports, and other industry stakeholders.
To participate in the program, shipping lines must enroll their companies and vessels through the IAPH/WPCI Web site. They must also register with the port. Registration is free.
The ESI program takes effect July 1. The first incentive payments will be made in October.