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Northwest Ports Reduce Diesel Emissions, Set Further Goals For 2020

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The ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver are setting draft goals to reduce diesel emissions by 75 percent per ton of cargo by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. Combined with projected cargo growth, this will result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020, the ports say. The goals are part of the draft 2013 Update of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy released June 11.  

"The good news is that emissions are down and in this Strategy Update we are setting more aggressive goals for the near future," said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, director of environmental and planning at the Port of Seattle. "The draft Strategy Update includes both aggressive reduction goals and sector-specific actions to meet those goals."  

The 2013 Update was developed based on the results of the 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory released last October. The inventory found maritime-related air pollution has decreased since 2005, with much of the progress due to significant, voluntary investments of the maritime industry and government agencies in cleaner technology, cleaner fuels and more efficient systems of operation. 

"To thrive and prosper, we need healthy air to breathe as well as economic opportunity," said Andrew Green, air quality programs director with the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. "We support our ports’ commitments to cut diesel exhaust and greenhouse gas pollution. Achieving the Strategy Update’s goals will ensure our region remains a healthy thriving place to live, breathe and do business."

To develop and implement the 2007 Strategy and this 2013 Strategy Update, the three ports partnered with other government agencies responsible for protecting air quality in the airshed: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington State Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency in the U.S. The airshed centers on the marine area known as the Salish Sea and includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, greater Puget Sound area, Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, Rosario Strait and other nearby waterways.

"Air quality affects our entire region, and we pride ourselves on working collaboratively with a range of partners – from other ports and air agencies to our customers and vendors – to improve the environment and protect human health while providing a healthy supply chain," said Jason Jordan, director of environmental programs at the Port of Tacoma. "The cooperative effort that launched the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy several years ago remains intact and strong today.
 

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