Ports news: Air quality improvement efforts in South Carolina, Seattle

There is more good news regarding emissions reductions work – this time at the two U.S. ports at Charleston, South Carolina and Seattle, Washington.

In Charleston, Air Emissions Inventory report data show that:

  • “Total port-related levels of nitrogen oxide (Nox), carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbons (HC) were reduced by 29 percent, 51 percent and 26 percent respectively from 2005 levels.
  • “Emissions related to the SCPA’s [South Carolina Port Authority’s] cargo-handling equipment demonstrated double-digit reductions for all criteria pollutants, including a 60 percent reduction in Nox, a 57 percent reduction in particulate matter (PM) and a 99 percent reduction in sulfur dioxide (SO2). The SCPA began using ultra-low sulfur in all lifting equipment in 2007, three years ahead of the federal mandate for non-road equipment. Additionally, the SCPA was selected to receive federal grants to partially fund the repower of 21 rubber-tired gantry cranes and 35 full container handlers, replacing older Tier 0 engines with new Tier III models on the equipment.
  • “Emissions from long-haul and drayage trucks calling the SCPA’s facilities similarly have made major air-quality strides, with reductions in all six criteria pollutants. Through a combination of SCPA idle-reduction efforts, upgrades in the fleet and fuel content changes, truck emissions have been reduced between 58 percent (PM) and 98 percent (SO2).”

(Source: “Air Quality Report Shows Improvement in Equipment, Truck Emissions: 2011 Air Emissions Inventory for Port of Charleston Tracks Progress Since 2005,” South Carolina Ports Authority, News Release, Apr. 8, 2013).

320px-APM_Terminals_WJ_Grimes[1]The Air Emissions Inventory report, according to the SCPA news release, follows renewal of the Port Authority’s voluntary and long-term agreement with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to lower the port’s impact on area air quality. Announced the week of Mar. 31, 2013, the agreement extends the partnership of the two agencies to 2018.

The partnership between the SCPA and DHEC was formed in 2007. (For more, see: “Air Quality Report Shows Improvement in Equipment, Truck Emissions: 2011 Air Emissions Inventory for Port of Charleston Tracks Progress Since 2005,” South Carolina Ports Authority, News Release, Apr. 8, 2013).

Meanwhile, over on the left coast in Seattle, Washington, in a “Port of Seattle Introduces New Truck Tag Program to Reduce Emissions,” Newsroom news release and dated Apr. 9, 2013, it was so noted that, “On April 1, 2013 the Port of Seattle and its container terminal operating tenants went live with the radio frequency identification (RFID) tag program in support of the port’s Clean Truck Initiative. The program roll-out was a success, involving an average of over 2,000 truck gate moves a day with less than two percent of all port registered trucks reporting issues, which were able to be resolved in most cases within 15 minutes.

“By gathering the data on the frequency of truck trips and age of vehicles, the Port of Seattle and its community partners are able to plan more effectively to meet future environmental program goals.”

The effort is part of a larger campaign to slash emissions from vehicles involved in port-related operations, according to information presented in the Port of Seattle news release.

Image above: William Grimes

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