Washington ports strive to stay ahead of pollution

| 8/19/2005

While some ports on the West Coast such as Los Angeles and Long Beach are struggling to reduce pollution levels that are beyond state and federal standards, ports in the Puget Sound area are taking a different approach.

The Tacoma Times reported that, although the ports of Tacoma and Seattle are well within air quality standards, both are taking measures now to make sure it stays that way.

The ports have formed a group, the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum, to survey all of the port-related emissions in the area and determine what measures can be taken to make sure those emissions stay within accepted levels.

The Times reported that the initial survey will cost $500,000. Part of that will come from a $100,000 federal grant received by the Port of Seattle. The rest will be paid by the ports themselves as well as private organizations.

The survey will then be used to determine what areas need improvement.

There are several projects already under way. The Port of Seattle recently switched its fleet of port trucks to low-sulfur diesel fuel and state ferries are considering switching to biodiesel.