AAPA Seaports Advisory

Environment: Long Beach, Seattle

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Port of Long Beach Achieves Record Pollution Reductions

The Port of Long Beach notched clean air records in its latest study of air pollution emissions, including an 88 percent reduction in diesel particulate matter, continuing more than a decade of air quality improvements.

The first phase of the zero-emissions Long Beach Container Terminal opened at Pier E in 2016, helping to drive down the air pollution tallied in the port’s newly completed annual emissions inventory. The port has been monitoring its progress in air quality improvement since 2005.

The inventory was compiled by an independent consultant, who found that the port’s actions to cut pollution have decreased diesel particulate matter a record 88 percent since 2005. Smog-forming nitrogen oxides were down 56 percent – also a record. Sulfur oxides held steady at 97 percent lower, while greenhouse gases fell 22 percent – another record.

Pursuant to the Clean Air Action Plan adopted in 2006, the port has taken aggressive steps to improve air quality.  These include the Clean Trucks Program, low-sulfur fuel regulations for ships, increased use of shore power for container ships, and the Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program. The port remains focused on continued reductions through increased use of on-dock rail, advanced clean-air technologies, and joint efforts with its Port of Los Angeles neighbor to finalize the latest update to the Clean Air Action Plan this fall.

With the opening of Long Beach Container Terminal, 11 percent of the port’s fleet of cargo-handling equipment is zero-emissions.

The annual emissions inventory is reviewed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resources Board and the South Coast Air Quality Management District. Learn more about the port’s emissions inventories here. 

Port of Seattle and Local Nonprofit Selected for EPA Environmental Justice Pilot Project

The Port of Seattle and Just Health Action have been selected to receive a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) focused on improving the health of communities near a port.

In June, Port and EPA leadership attended a "listening" session and walking tour of the Duwamish Valley to learn about environmental challenges faced by the community.

The Near-Port Community Capacity Building/Stakeholder Engagement Project will focus on improving environmental health outcomes for Seattle’s South Park and Georgetown communities. Port-Community collaborative activities will focus on building engagement, advocacy and collaboration skills in communities and improving partnerships with the port to address community needs.

The pilot will test and refine the EPA Ports Initiative’s new capacity building and stakeholder engagement toolkits: the Ports Primer for Communities, the Community Action Roadmap, and the Environmental Justice Primer for Ports. The EPA has committed one year of a technical assistance grant to facilitate the pilot project between the Port of Seattle and environmental justice communities in the Duwamish Valley.

Through the pilot, the port and its non-profit partner will work together over the next year to:

  • Enhance community skills for effectively engaging in local decision-making
  • Improve the port’s environmental performance and engagement best practices in environmental justice communities
  • Develop collaborative policies and practices to build near-port community partnerships

"We are thrilled to be selected for this environment justice project – working with neighboring communities to address environmental impacts along the Duwamish River is very important to the port and a positive step towards environmental and social equity." said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton.


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