US port moves closer to zero-emission target

Port of Los Angeles The 2018 Inventory of Air Emissions Report tracks the Port of Los Angeles' eco-management progress. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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A Californian port is meeting and exceeding all 2023 targets for reducing primary pollutants while cargo volumes continue to rise.

The Port of Los Angeles, which has a zero-emission goal, continues to make progress cutting emissions from ships, trains, trucks, harbour craft and cargo handling equipment since 2005, according to its 2018 Inventory of Air Emissions Report.

“Even as cargo has increased 26 percent since the baseline year of 2005, we’ve sustained the remarkable clean air gains we’ve made since then,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director, Gene Seroka.

CAAP goals

The Port’s Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) compares emissions reductions for each calendar year to the 2005 baseline year to track progress toward CAAP goals. While 2018 container throughput rose to nearly 9.46m teus, up from 9.34m teus in 2017, nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions are still 60% below 2005 levels, with an actual year-to-year decrease from 2017 of 1%. Sulfur oxides (SOx) emissions remain 98% below 2005 levels, with an actual year-to-year decrease from 2017 of 2%.

Diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions remain at 87% below 2005 levels, though actual emissions of DPM increased slightly from 2017 by 1%. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are down 10% below 2005 levels, up 3% from 2017 levels.

“The annual increases are not surprising given the 1.3% growth in container cargo volume since the previous year,” said Port Director of Environmental Management Christopher Cannon. “They underscore the importance of further reducing combustion-based engine technologies in heavy-duty equipment in port operations and ultimately moving toward widespread use of zero emission technologies to achieve continued GHG reductions.”

The port is currently leading or participating in 16 projects with multiple partners to demonstrate near-zero and zero emissions engines, emissions control technology, and alternative fuelling and charging stations.

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have released a report on the current state of clean cargo-handling equipment technology as they begin working toward the Clean Air Action Plan’s 2030 goal of a zero-emissions fleet at the US’s largest seaport complex.

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