Port of Los Angeles Cuts Emissions As Much As 76%

by | Aug 7, 2012

The Port of Los Angeles’ cumulative emissions have plunged as much as 76 percent while container volumes increased 6 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to new data.

On a year-to-year basis, the Port of Los Angeles’ 2011 Inventory of Air Emissions shows a decrease up to 7 percent of emissions.

The Inventory of Air Emissions reports data from the 2011 calendar year and compares it with data collected annually since the baseline year of 2005. The data shows the port has achieved the greatest clean air gains in reducing emissions of sulfur oxides (SOx). SOx emissions dropped 76 percent over the seven-year period, from 5,325 tons in 2005 to 1,287 tons in 2011.

Over the same period, the port slashed diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions 71 percent (from 891 tons to 258 tons) and emissions from related pollutants (PM10 and PM2.5) 71 percent and 69 percent, respectively. Its nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions dropped 51 percent, from 5,325 tons to 1,287.

SOx and NOx are key components of smog, and DPM is an identified toxic air contaminant and known carcinogen.

Based on the 2011 data, the port is in line to meet self-imposed goals of cutting DPM emissions 72 percent and has exceeded its goal of curbing NOx emissions 22 percent by 2014, compared to 2005 levels. The data also shows the port is close to achieving its 2023 standards of reducing DPM emissions 77 percent, NOx emissions 59 percent and SOx emissions 93 percent using 2005 as a baseline.

The findings also reflect the port’s GHG reductions. From 2005 to 2011, CO2 equivalent emissions — a measure of CO2, N2O and CH4 emissions combined — fell 19 percent.

The port says it achieved these emissions reductions through its vessel speed reduction program, low-sulfur fuel requirements for ships, the clean truck program whose final ban on drayage trucks with pre-2007 engines took effect Jan. 1, 2012, engine retrofits and gradual vessel replacement of older harbor craft. It has also retrofitted cargo-handling equipment and replaced older rail equipment with cleaner line haul and switcher locomotives.

In May, the port adopted an international clean air program that pays a monetary reward to ocean carriers for bringing their newest, most efficient and lowest emission vessels to port. Last year, it installed installed electric accessory power to supply three separate cruise lines.

Regulations requiring ships to use cleaner, low-sulfur fuel while operating near the North American coast took effect Aug. 1.


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