Pollution drops in Puget Sound region

Ship related emissions have dropped in the Puget Sound region Ship related emissions have dropped in the Puget Sound region

According to a report release by the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, maritime related air pollution levels have dropped significantly since 2005.

The report was released as a result of the 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory which provided an update of the 2005 baseline inventory. The inventory estimated greenhouse gases, diesel particulate matter and sulphur dioxide among other pollutants related to ships, harbour vessels, cargo handling equipment and fleet vehicles.

The results indicated that nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions decreased by 14% and diesel particulate matter by 16%. Diesel particulate matter fell by 16% for ocean-going vessels, 7% for harbour vessels, 40% for cargo handling equipment and 52% for heavy duty vehicles.

Overall, emissions fell for most maritime fleet vehicles yet for harbour vessels, including ferries, tugs, fishing and recreations boats, emissions increased. This is most likely due to a 12% increase in boat traffic and the use of larger engines.

The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, an initiative set up by the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Metro Vancouver BC, has helped further reduce emissions in the Puget Sound and Georgia air basins.

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