Image from PortofLosAngeles.org
America’s Port, aka the Port of Los Angeles, is making headway on its quest to significantly lower emissions and improve air quality. This is even despite it being one of the largest U.S. Harbors, handling more cargo and international shipments in just a few weeks than most North American harbors do in a whole year.
Last year I wrote a blog titled “Nitrogen oxides coming to a port near you” about the volume of pollution being generated from ships coming in/out of ports like the Port of Los Angeles. So, I figured it was about time to see what steps are being taken by the Port of L.A. to improve the environment around it:
- The Los Angeles Harbor Board just approved the first terminal lease under the San Pedro Bay Ports “Clean Air Action Plan”. Not only will this bring more construction and regional jobs to the area, but it takes one of the most obsolete container terminals and turns it into a “state-of-the-art facility by which TraPac will be able to implement cutting edge environmental mitigation technologies.” They are even building an energy-efficient administration building which will meet LEED “Gold” standards. Per estimates, these upgrades alone will reduce NOx and SOx emissions by 62%.
- TraPac (the company doing the upgrades) will also become eligible to receive an additional $1.5 million. These funds would be ear-marked towards technology that can capture harmful emissions from ships not retro-fitted to plug in to the shore-side electric power while they are in port.
- NOTE: Capturing harmful emissions from ships who aren’t or can’t afford to be retro-fitted to make use of the shore-side electric power while in port, is a key step. But, ships and shipping companies can implement simple and immediate cost-effective technologies such as using fuel additives proven to lower emissions in both heavy fuel oil and marine diesel. Every step taken to lower emissions helps.
- A “Water Resources Action Plan” was just adopted. It is designed improved water quality in the port…a much needed improvement. The plan zeroes in on littering, sediment pollution and other potential contaminants.
- Since implementing their “Clean Trucks Program” in October 2008, The Port of Los Angeles reports that almost 60% of the over 177,000 cargo moves done in June 2009, were done by clean trucks that meet or exceed the EPA’s 2007 emission standards.
- In Feb 2009, the port took possession of the first 25 heavy-duty all electric trucks from Balqon Corp. Balqon Corp built these electric trucks exclusively for the port. Each truck can haul a 60,000 lb. cargo container at speeds up to 40mph. The battery has a range of 30-60 miles, so obviously they are designed for local hauling. Each battery charger can fully charge 4 electric trucks within a 4 hour period, but can also provide up to 60% charge in just an hour for peak delivery times.
Those are just some of the steps the Port of Los Angeles (and Port of Long Beach for the most part), have recently been taking towards lowering harmful emissions and improving air quality around the ports. I don’t know about you, but it looks to me like they are serious about…..”The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port. A brighter future.”