Oakland diesel emissions down 81%

Port of Oakland A new report shows Oakland diesel emissions have plummeted since 2005 despite a 6% cargo volume increase. Credit: Port of Oakland
Industry Database

Diesel particulate emissions from Port of Oakland maritime operations are down 81% since 2005, moving the port closer to its target of 85% emissions reduction by 2020.

Environmental consultancy Ramboll reported Oakland’s improvement in a 100-page emissions inventory of 2017 port activity. The results show a 5% drop in seaport emissions in the past two years. Oakland’s Board of Port Commissioners adopted an 85% diesel emissions reduction target in 2008, with 2005 as its measurement baseline.

“We continue to make progress toward the goal we have set,” said Port of Oakland environmental programmes and planning director Richard Sinkoff. “With cooperation from our partners in the cargo-moving business we firmly believe we’ll fulfil our commitment to cleaner air in Oakland and in our region.”

Cargo impact curbed

According to the Ramboll report, Oakland diesel emissions have plummeted since 2005 despite a 6% cargo volume increase. Improvements are due to a port programme that purged older, exhaust-belching big rigs from the fleet of trucks hauling containers in Oakland; regulations that require container ships to use cleaner-burning low sulphur fuel and switch off engines and plug into landside power while at berth; and fewer vessel and truck visits to the port.

Ramboll also reported that vessel traffic in Oakland has declined 15% since 2005 due to more containers being loaded on fewer but larger ships, plus truck traffic is down by more than 500,000 trips a year due to efficiency improvements.

78% of container vessels visiting in the port in July cut engines and plugged into landside electrical power to cut diesel particulate exhaust, a record plug-in rate for Oakland.

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