AAPA Seaports Advisory

Environment: Corpus Christi, Oakland

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Port Corpus Christi Joins Green Marine

Port Corpus Christi has joined the Green Marine environmental certification program, a North American initiative committed to advancing environmental excellence in maritime transportation.

Green Marine’s membership consists of port authorities, terminal operators, ship owners and shipyards in Canada and the United States. Corpus Christi is the first Texas port to join. In October 2013, Green Marine and AAPA signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at advancing the environmental sustainability of port and terminal operators.  

"We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Corpus Christi as the first port from Texas to join the Green Marine program," says David Bolduc, Green Marine’s executive director. "With its newly adopted environmental policy, its desire to enhance environmental awareness and its participation in our certification program, Port Corpus Christi is showing true commitment to sustainability."

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority in 2007 implemented an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system to improve teamwork and interdepartmental collaboration and just recently revised its environmental policy.
Green Marine’s environmental program helps its members voluntarily reduce their environmental footprints. It addresses key environmental issues using 12 performance indicators that include reducing air emissions, minimizing community impacts, and demonstrating environmental leadership.

"Green Marine certification aligns well with our strategic initiatives with regards to the environment and sustaining the clean air, water and soil that we have in our port," according to Sarah Garza, the Port Corpus Christi’s director of environmental planning & compliance.

Truck Diesel, Ship Emissions Fall Sharply at Port of Oakland

Diesel emissions from trucks serving the Port of Oakland declined 98 percent between 2005 and 2015. In that same timeframe, ship emissions dropped 75 percent. Those were the key findings of the 2015 Emissions Inventory the port released last week.

"This is a significant achievement," said Richard Sinkoff, the port’s director of environmental programs and planning. "The reduction in seaport diesel emissions is important because it’s closely related to reducing health risk for our neighboring communities."

According to the port’s study, truck Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) emissions decreased from 16 tons in 2005 to 0.4 tons in 2015. Overall, DPM emissions decreased from 261 tons to 63 tons.

The port and its environmental consultant compiled and calculated emissions data for 2015 from ships, harbor craft, cargo handling equipment, trucks and locomotives.  

The results show DPM declines of 98 percent for trucks, 89 percent for locomotives, 82 percent for cargo handling equipment, 75 percent for ocean-going vessels, and 53 percent for harbor craft.

The port listed a number of contributing factors to its emissions improvements:
  • A $38 million grant program to upgrade and replace the oldest trucks operating at the port
  • A ban on trucks that are not compliant with statewide emissions requirements
  • Shipping lines switching to low sulfur fuel
  • A $60 million project to construct a power grid that ships can plug into at berth rather than relying on auxiliary diesel engines
"The work and investments by the port and our partners have nearly eliminated port truck emissions and greatly reduced other emissions," said Port Executive Director Chris Lytle. "But we’re not done – we’ll keep working to minimize the potential impact that trade has on our community."

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