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Ship at port

Northwest Ports Pledge 75% DPM Cut

Ship at portThe Northwest ports of Seattle, Tacoma and Metro Vancouver say they will reduce diesel particulate matter (DPM) by 75 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent, per ton of cargo, by 2015, according to the ports’ updated Clean Air Strategy. Both air pollution reduction targets use 2005 levels as a baseline.

The ports say they will further reduce DPM per ton of cargo 80 percent by 2020 and cut GHGs 15 percent by 2020, both compared to 2005 levels.

According to the Clean Air Strategy, the ports will meet these goals by exploring different methods to reduce emissions, from switching to liquefied natural gas to idle-time reduction.

The three ports have also committed to conducting pilot studies and demonstration projects to cut emissions from ocean-going vessels, harbor vessels, cargo-handling equipment, trucks, locomotives and rail transport, and port administration.

The Metro Vancouver port is exploring the viability of switching to liquefied natural gas for marine operations. It has also studied introducing clean energy at two container terminals. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) is in the process of implementing an idle-reduction technology, while the Seattle port completed a pilot study on using radio frequency identification (RFID) tags for trucks, so they have less wait times at gates.

The three ports published their original clean air strategy plans to reduce emissions from shipping and port operations in the Georgia Basin-Puget Sound airshed in 2007.

To set and implement the goals, the ports partnered with the EPA, PSCAA, the Washington State Department of Ecology, and Environment Canada and Metro Vancouver in Canada.

Other ports have also been looking for ways to reduce pollution from their operations. The Port of Long Beach announced in May that all 13 international cargo terminals at the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach will power docked ships with electricity by the end of this year, cutting air pollution from the ships at berth by 95 percent. The infrastructure to supply shore power — also known as cold ironing or alternative marine power (AMP) — is being installed in support of clean air initiatives led by the two ports and the California Air Resources Board.

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