Port of Los Angeles touts 80 percent drop in diesel particulate matter

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 11/11/2014

Emissions are down at the left coast’s largest port, but much of the improvement may not be due to port regulations.

The Port of Los Angeles recently announced it had made major strides in addressing pollution from ships, trucks, trains and other sources. The port’s 2013 Inventory of Air Emissions said diesel particulate matter is down 80 percent, nitrogen oxides are down 57 percent, and sulfur oxides went down 90 percent during the eight years since the port approved the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan in 2006.

The port credited the improvements to a voluntary vessel speed reduction program and the use of new trucks making freight calls. Large improvements, a port news release said, occurred in 2013 when no major emissions regulations took effect.

“The Port of Los Angeles has made significant progress on the path to a healthier future and is on track to do more,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said, according to a port news release. “We are proud to be an industry leader both internationally and in California, a state known for the world’s highest environmental standards.”

The port currently prohibits heavy-duty trucks with pre-2007 model year engines from entering. A trend of fleets purchasing 2010 and newer models has led to 26 percent of current truck traffic at the port meeting the 2010 EPA emissions standards.

Still, don’t look for the port to stop requiring strict emissions limits for the trucks and ships that serve it.

“This port’s commitment to clean air is stronger than ever,” Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka said, according to the news release. “These latest results show that our industry partners, who have been key to our success all along, are voluntarily expanding their sustainable practices to ensure these gains will last.”

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