Air Emission Counts Fall at Port of Los Angeles

Air quality appears to be improving in the San Pedro Bay, according to the latest data from the Port of Los Angeles.

The Port’s 2013 Inventory of Air Emissions, a 225-page report prepared in July, includes last year’s data on air quality in the San Pedro Bay, which includes the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

The inventory accounts for: particulate matter (PM 10-micron, 2.5-micron); diesel particulate matter (DPM), oxides of nitrogen (NOx); oxides of sulfur (SOx); hydrocarbons (HC); and carbon monoxide (CO).

In particular, diesel particulate matter (DPM) is down 80 percent, nitrogen oxides (NOx) down 57 percent, and sulfur oxides (SOx) down 90 percent since the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) was adopted in 2006.

The inventory tracks five sources of pollution at the ports: ocean going vessels (OGV); harbor craft; cargo handling equipment (CHE); locomotives; and heavy duty vehicles (HDV).

The report cites five explanations for significant reductions in 2013:

  1. For ocean going vessels, increased vessel speed reduction compliance and use of shore power.
  2. Significant turn over of older trucks to newer, cleaner trucks as part of the Port’s Clean Truck Program.
  3. Continued replacement of older harbor craft with cleaner, lower emitting units.
  4. Continued replacement of older cargo handling equipment with cleaner units, retrofits, and repowers.
  5. Gradual introduction of cleaner line haul locomotives, with a fleet consisting almost entirely of low emission locomotives.

According to the report, demand for cargo through the San Pedro region will increase over the next 20 years. The ability to accommodate the growth will “depend upon the ability of the two ports and their tenants to address adverse environmental impacts and, in particular, air quality impacts that result from such trade,” the report finds.

The San Pedro Bay region is home to 10 million residents.

Photo: Dave Toussaint