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Port of L.A. Slashes Emissions With Cleaner Trucks

Port of L.A. Slashes Emissions With Cleaner Trucks

Port of L.A. - CC license by Flickr user wirralwater (where to next?)
Air emissions at the nation's busiest port dropped significantly last year, largely due to a Clean Truck program that helped get older rigs off the road.
 
The Port of Los Angeles announced last week that absolute diesel particulate matter emissions fell 37 percent in 2009 compared to the year before. Nitrogen oxide emissions dropped 28 percent, while sulfur oxide emissions declined 36 percent. These types of emissions contribute to air pollution in the region, also known as smog.
 
The Port of L.A., along with the Port of Long Beach, have undertaken a slew of efforts aimed at improving their environmental performance under the auspices of San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP). Ports are ranked among the country's largest polluters.
 
When the emissions rates are normalized to account for the economic downturn, the declines are still significant: a 26-27 percent drop in each type of air pollutant based on emissions per 20-foot container.
 
CAAP calls for port emissions to drop by 72 percent for diesel particulate matter, by 22 percent for nitrogen oxide, and by 93 percent for sulfur oxide, by 2014, relative to a 2005 baseline.
 
The results put the port on solid footing to meet these targets: Compared to 2005 levels, diesel particulate matter emissions fell 52 percent in 2009, nitrogen oxide emissions dropped 33 percent, and sulfur oxide emissions decreased 56 percent.
 
“We’re definitely on track to meet the Clean Air Action Plan’s Bay-wide Standards -- our long-term air quality goals,” Christopher Patton, the Port’s acting assistant director of environmental management, said in a statement last week. “In fact, in five years we’ve come more than halfway towards our ten-year target for DPM and SOx emissions reductions, and we are striving to continue to exceed our target for NOx. As we continue to apply the CAAP’s existing and new control measures, we expect the reduction trend to continue in 2010.” 
 
Patton pointed to the Clean Trucks program as the main driver behind the declines. As of late 2009, the program helped get thousands of dirty trucks off the road in favor of cleaner models. Interestingly, the restriction have had a beneficial effect on truck sales in the region, which increased at a time when truck sales declined nationally.
 
Other initiatives, such as California's move to restrict the sulfur content of diesel fuel, also played a role in the improve air emissions results, Patton said. 
 
Port of L.A. - CC license by Flickr user wirralwater (where to next?)