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Environment: Los Angeles, Baltimore, St. John

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With 25 berths for ships to plug into shore-side electric power, or Alternative Maritime Power™ (AMP™), the Port of Los Angeles says it is fully ready for its terminal operators and ocean carriers to meet California’s new clean air requirements. The Maryland Port Administration is seeking ideas and best practices for converting material dredged into environmentally safe aggregate for the construction/building industries. The St. John's Port Authority (SJPA) enrolled in the Green Marine environmental program earlier this month.

Los Angeles Ready to Meet California’s Shore-Side Power Requirements  

With 25 berths for ships to plug into shore-side electric power, or Alternative Maritime Power™ (AMP™), the Port of Los Angeles says it is fully ready for its terminal operators and ocean carriers to meet California’s new clean air requirements.

"The port developed and invested heavily in AMP™ ahead of the regulations to bring the tremendous environmental benefits of shore-side power to our region," said Interim Los Angeles Port Executive Director Gary Lee Moore. "A great deal of credit goes to our industry and regulatory partners for working closely with us over the past decade to put us into the position we are today in terms of our shore-side power deployment capacities.

Effective January 1, 2014, a new California regulation has set shore-side power plug in requirements for container and refrigerated ship fleets, as well as cruise ships. Under the regulation, at least 50 percent of fleet vessel calls must shut down their auxiliary engines and run their vital onboard systems by plugging into shore-side power. The regulation also requires that each fleet reduce its total at-berth emissions generation by at least 50 percent. These requirements will reach 80 percent by 2020. 

At Los Angeles, ships equipped to connect to AMP™ can now do so at all eight marine container terminals and the port’s World Cruise Center. Approximately $180 million has been invested over the last decade to equip the 25 container and cruise berths with AMP™ shore-side power infrastructure.

According to data cited by the port, plugging into electric power reduces ship engine emissions of diesel particulate matter, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur oxides (SOx) by up to 95 percent per vessel call. For example, on average, this reduces 1 ton of NOx per vessel call. 

Five years ago, the port collaborated with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to establish a preferential rate structure that stabilizes the cost of electricity for shore-side power users and is expected to generate future savings. In 2011, the port completed AMP™ work at its World Cruise Center.  

The California rules are taking effect as the Port of Los Angeles marks the 10-year anniversary of the first time a container ship anywhere in the world "plugged in." On June 21, 2004, China Shipping’s Xin Yang Zhou plugged in to a barge-mounted AMP™ connection while at berth. In 2007, another first was achieved when the NYK Atlas, the first container ship built with AMP™ capability, plugged into a shore-side power connection at the port.

Maryland Seeks Private-Sector Best Practices on Innovative Reuse of Dredged Material

The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) recently issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking ideas and best practices for converting material dredged from Baltimore Harbor shipping channels into an environmentally safe aggregate used in the construction / building industries. The MPA is exploring the potential of developing a public-private partnership (P3) to take material already placed at the Cox Creek Dredged Material Containment Facility and convert it into a lightweight aggregate used in masonry blocks, concrete, hot-mix asphalt and geotechnical fill. 

"Dredging is the lifeline of the Port of Baltimore," said MPA Executive Director James J. White. "Without properly maintained shipping channels, the huge ships of today and supersized ones of tomorrow could not safely travel to and from the port. Our long-term challenge, faced by ports across the world, is where to place the material dredged from these shipping channels. By seeking the expertise from private industry, we can potentially increase our placement options by creating an environmentally beneficial product, which may provide relief to the dwindling capacity at current sites like Cox Creek.

With a 50-foot-deep shipping channel, Baltimore can now handle the large Super Post-Panamax ships. To maintain these shipping channels, approximately 1.5 million cubic yards of material must be dredged from the Baltimore Harbor annually. Dredged material from the harbor is then placed at containment facilities, including Cox Creek and Masonville. While capacity remains at these sites, the MPA has been investigating best practices to increase dredged material placement capacity while researching possible beneficial reuse ideas.  

The MPA successfully completed a demonstration project in January 2012 by converting dredged material into a lightweight aggregate. The RFI will help the State of Maryland determine if there is a cost effective and competitive marketplace for the environmentally-safe aggregate.  

The RFI was issued under Maryland’s new P3 law, which provides the private sector with a stronger, more predictable and streamlined process for future P3 projects. It protects public assets, ensures a strong workforce, requires competitive bidding for all projects, and allows the private sector to submit new "unsolicited" concepts to address Maryland’s infrastructure needs. 

The RFI can be found at www.mpa.maryland.gov  

Responses to the RFI are due by January 24, 2014. The RFI does not constitute the commencement of any solicitation process, nor does it represent a commitment to proceed with any such solicitation in the future. Once the RFI responses have been received, MPA will analyze the industry feedback to determine the potential for a P3 and develop next steps for a possible solicitation process. MPA is targeting late winter 2014 for a decision regarding next steps for a potential solicitation process. 

The state encourages responses from a variety of firms, including aggregate manufacturers; innovative technology firms; engineering and construction companies; financial investment firms; chemical/polymer/materials manufacturers; kiln manufacturers; and small, local and/or minority-owned businesses.

St. John’s Port Authority Joins Green Marine

The St. John's Port Authority (SJPA) enrolled in the Green Marine environmental program earlier this month. Green Marine is a joint Canada-U.S. initiative aimed at implementing a marine industry environmental program throughout North America.

The cornerstone of the Green Marine initiative is an environmental program, which makes it possible for any marine company operating in Canada or the U.S. to voluntarily improve its environmental performance by undertaking concrete and measurable actions.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed at last fall’s AAPA convention in Orlando (Advisory , October 22, 2013), Green Marine and AAPA agreed to will work cooperatively to advance environmental protection at seaports in the Western Hemisphere. AAPA promised to encourage its members’ participation in the Green Marine environmental program for ports that find it beneficial to their operations and sustainability initiatives.  

Among the Green Marine participants are 22 public seaport agencies, including the SJPA. Nearly all are AAPA members.

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