Long Beach exceeding emissions reduction goals

Long Beach exceeding emissions reduction goals

Long Beach’s 2018 emissions inventory measured diesel pollution reductions from ocean-going vessels, tugs and other harbor craft, marine terminal cargo-handling equipment, railroad locomotives, and heavy-duty trucks. Photo credit: Shutterstock.com.

The Port of Long Beach last year exceeded the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) 2023 goals for diesel particulate matter (DPM) and sulfur oxide (SOx) emissions reductions, and came close to attaining the 2023 standard for nitrogen oxide (NOx) reductions.

The port’s 2018 emissions inventory, which was conducted by independent consultants, measured diesel pollution reductions from ocean-going vessels, tugs and other harbor craft, marine terminal cargo-handling equipment, railroad locomotives, and heavy-duty trucks.

Long Beach and neighboring Los Angeles each year release an inventory of emission reductions from the 2005 base year as part of their joint 2006 CAAP. A spokesperson at the Port of Los Angeles said the port’s 2018 inventory will be released next week.

Long Beach in 2018 reduced DPM emissions by 87 percent from the 2005 baseline, compared with the goal of a 77 percent reduction in 2023. SOx emissions were reduced 97 percent, compared with the 2023 goal of 93 percent. NOx emissions were reduced 56 percent, compared with the 2023 goal of 59 percent.

Bonnie Lowenthal, president of the Long Beach Harbor Commission, said the current achievements are part of a longer-term goal of zero emissions, where feasible, or near-zero emissions. “There’s work to be done to get to our ultimate goal of zero-emissions operations, but I’m confident we will get there together,” she said.

Executive director Mario Cordero noted the emissions reductions were achieved despite a 21 percent increase in container traffic since 2005. Long Beach is managing a $150 million investment program in projects designed to reduce harmful emissions. The port is also managing $80 million in grant funding to demonstrate zero-emissions equipment and advanced energy systems, he said.

Emission reductions from vessels, trucks and trains

CAAP strategies include working with terminal operators to incorporate zero-emission and near-zero emission cargo-handling equipment into operations, reducing emissions from vessels at berth by plugging into shoreside electrical power, slow steaming of vessels in the port area, and retrofitting harbor craft with cleaner engines. Long Beach is also expanding on-dock rail operations to reduce truck trips.

Long Beach last year handled a record 8.1 million laden and empty TEU, an increase of 7.2 percent from 2017, according to port statistics. Due to the increasing size of vessels in the trans-Pacific trades, the 1,005 container ship arrivals last year were down 25 percent from 1,332 arrivals in 2005. The average vessel size was 8,051 TEU, up 60 percent from the average vessel size of 5,037 in 2005.

The mayors of Long Beach and Los Angeles have committed their ports to achieve zero or near-zero operations by 2035. 

Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at bill.mongelluzzo@ihsmarkit.com and follow him on Twitter: @billmongelluzzo.