Port of Long Beach is getting greener every year – Press Telegram

By Lee Peterson

Long Beach Harbor

Seventeen years after adopting its famous Green Port Policy, the Port of Long Beach is more committed than ever to making Southern California a cleaner, healthier place to live, work and play.

The port’s annual air emissions inventory confirms its continued progress. The study, which is not published until it has been reviewed by regional, state and federal regulatory agencies, shows in its latest update that, years ahead of schedule, the port has met and exceeded its third and final 2023 target to reduce air at ground level. pollution from port operations.

Three large container ships dock at the new Long Beach Container Terminal, a facility with zero-emissions cargo operations in the Port of Long Beach. (Courtesy of the Port of Long Beach)

“Since last year, smog-forming nitrogen oxides have been reduced by 62%,” said Matthew Arms, director of the port’s environmental planning division. “The Port of Long Beach has set ambitious goals to reduce the top three pollutants at ground level and we have achieved all three goals ahead of schedule.”

Under the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), the port has committed to reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions by 77%, nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 59% and sulfur oxides (SOx) by 93% by 2023. Working closely with its industry partners, the port met and exceeded its DPM reduction target in 2013 and its SOx reduction target in 2014.

The latest inventory shows that the port has maintained and developed its track record. DPM and SOx emissions have decreased by 90% and 97% respectively since 2005. The port continues to use all available tools, including green lease provisions and voluntary incentive programs, to eliminate emissions remaining.

BYD zero-emission electric construction tractor, an example of one of many zero-emission human-powered vehicles being tested at the Port of Long Beach. (Courtesy of the Port of Long Beach)

“It takes all of our ongoing measures to control pollution every year, and it takes new strategies to make more progress,” Arms said. “We are doing everything in our power to become an emission-free port. So far, we have been able to move the needle in the right direction every year.

Continuous progress

The port’s air quality programs tackle anything with a motor that crosses its threshold and moves cargo: ships, trains, trucks, small harbor craft and off-road cargo-handling equipment. In addition to ground-level pollutants, the port is laser-focused on reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) – pollution raising the Earth’s temperature and putting the planet at greater risk of flooding, fires and other hazardous events exacerbated by climate change.

To do its part, the port is moving forward with measures to transition off-road material handling equipment to zero-emission vehicles by 2030 and the truck fleet to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. 2035. The challenge is to accelerate the development, deployment and commercialization of machines powered by clean energy.

Converting the entire fleet of zero-emission drayage trucks is no small feat: the trucks are privately owned, the price is higher than conventional models, and the large zero-emission trucks are far from widely available. The port’s large-scale demonstration projects and Technology Advancement Program, which provides funding to test clean technology equipment and vehicle projects at working terminals, are accelerating the transition.

Additionally, beginning Friday, April 1, the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles will begin collecting $10 for each loaded twenty-foot container — the standard container unit — trucked in and out of their terminals. The money, contributed by freight owners, goes directly into the Clean Truck Fund, an incentive program to help companies switch to zero-emission trucks. The fund is expected to raise up to $90 million in its first year.

The new program represents the second time the ports have offered incentives to hand over the fleet. The first time was a resounding success with all older dirty trucks retired from port service in 2012. Today, nearly 15,000 trucks regularly call at San Pedro Bay ports. All are model year 2007 or newer. Over 60% are model year 2014 or newer.

Demonstration projects are also expensive. To cover the costs, the port actively sought state and federal grants, securing more than $70 million.

“The Port and its partners have matched, if not exceeded, this contribution, both in dollars and in kind,” Arms said.


In addition to air, water and land are equal priorities under Long Beach’s Green Harbor policy. Keeping soil and sediment cleaner is routine. Here too, the Port is following its evolution. Released in 2021, the latest San Pedro Bay Water Quality, Aquatic Habitat and Biological Resources Survey shows the port’s ecosystem is thriving, with over 1,000 species of plants, fish , birds, invertebrates and marine mammals.

“This is our most comprehensive investigation to date,” Arms said. “Our port is healthier than ever.”

The goals of the Green Ports Policy include sustainability and community engagement. Progress on both fronts includes

initiating a micro-grid project in early March to create a reliable source of electricity for the port’s security headquarters; and establishing funding priorities for the port’s community grants program for the next three years.

On March 24, the Long Beach Board of Directors of Long Beach Harbor Commissioners voted to prioritize bicycle and pedestrian paths and energy efficiency projects. The port plans to solicit grant applications this summer and announce awards in the fall.

The grants fund local health, facility improvement and community infrastructure projects to mitigate port-related impacts on air and water quality, traffic and noise. Since 2009, the Port has invested over $65 million in the program.

“We do extensive community outreach to find out what people would like to see to help set our funding priorities,” Arms said. “We are as proud of the process as we are of the projects.

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