The Port of Long Beach has cut diesel particulates by 81 percent since 2005, according to an analysis just released.
The results for 2012 mark six straight years of improving air quality in the harbor area thanks to the Port's focused efforts to reduce air pollution caused by goods movement.
The reasons for air quality improvements 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.
Compared to 2005 emissions levels, all of the key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced in 2012. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides have been cut 54 percent and 88 percent respectively. Greenhouse gases were lowered by 24 percent. The reduction in pollutants far outpaced a 10 percent decline in containerized cargo activity in the same period.
The report released Monday examines data from the 2012 calendar year. The study's results were reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
“We’ve been aggressively pursuing cleaner air for a long time and as you can see from these numbers, we are succeeding. We’ve committed to do even more, to continue to reduce air pollution and its health effects,” said Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Thomas Fields.