Air quality improvement at the Port of Long Beach: Yesterday, today and …

I first wrote about the Port of Long Beach (POLB) California air quality issues back on Nov. 7, 2012 in “Regarding air-pollution cleanup at the Port of Long Beach: A progress report” here.

Encouraging was the news then; it is even more so now.


253px-Green_flag_port[1]“Between 2005 and 2011, POLB air-pollution clean-up gains have been impressive: nitrogen oxides have been reduced by 50 percent, sulfur oxides an astounding 80 percent, emissions of airborne diesel particulate matter experienced a 75 percent drop while greenhouse gas emissions declined 23 percent, although there was a 10 percent reduction in containerized port activity during this time, this according to the Port document, “Port Clean Air Programs Cut Pollution by 75%.”

So, what was behind the improvement?

In “Port of Long Beach, California clamping down in air pollution cleanup efforts,” in citing the POLB from its news story: “Port Eliminates 81% of Diesel Air Pollution: Report marks 6th consecutive year of air quality improvements,” I wrote: “‘The reasons for air quality improvement include bigger ships carrying cargo more efficiently, newer ships with cleaner engines, the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline for full implementation of the Clean Trucks Program, increasing use of shore power, and a new low-sulfur fuel rule for ships that started in August 2012.’”


So, what does progress at the Port today look like?

Crane_BridgeShipWell, in a POLB news item dated Sept. 23, 2014, the Port gushes: “Diesel air pollution from ships, trucks, trains and other big machines at the Port of Long Beach has declined by 82 percent since 2005, a comprehensive air quality analysis has found. The report – which focus on 2013 – show seven straight years of steadily declining air pollution from goods movement in the harbor area.”

The POLB further stated: “In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have been cut 54 percent and 90 percent respectively. Emissions from Port operations have plunged even as shipping activity has increased slightly, with containerized cargo up 0.3 percent since 2005.”

The gains are no less than noteworthy. In fact, praiseworthy is what they really are!

Besides the shift to larger vessels with more efficient cargo-carrying capacity, cleaner ship engines, the lower sulfur content of ship fuels, availability of ship-fed electricity supplied from on-shore sources which is otherwise known as “shore power,” there has been “increased utilization of on-dock rail,” declared the POLB.


Look for even further progress on this front in the days, weeks, months, years and decades ahead.

For more, see: “Air Pollution Continues Decline at Port of Long Beach: 2013 marks 7 straight years of improved air quality” here.

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