LA and Long Beach release draft of Clean Air Action Plan Update

Release of proposed CAAP kicks off two-month public review and comment period.

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Updated on 20 Jul 2017 07:55 GMT

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have released the draft of their proposed 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update.

The document outlines a new set of near-term and long-term strategies for the harbour complex to further reduce air pollution from all port-related sources and assist the state of California in meeting aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals.

The document's release kicks off a public review and comment period that extends until September 18. Harbor commissioners from both ports plan to hold a joint public meeting in November to consider the final draft.

"These ports are going where no port has gone before," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. "Based on what we've already accomplished to promote healthy, robust trade through our gateway, we're ready to make history again, looking at a new array of technologies and strategies to further lower port-related emissions in the decades ahead."

"Since 2006, the Clean Air Action Plan has been a model for programs to reduce health risks and air quality impacts from port operations worldwide. We remain committed to being leaders in seaport sustainability," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.

The draft 2017 CAAP Update incorporates feedback from nearly two years of extensive dialogue with industry, environmental groups, regulatory agencies and neighboring communities.

Updated strategies in the CAAP incorporate local, regional, state and federal standards and regulations, as well as anticipate clean air regulations under development by the California Air Resources Board.

The bunker-related strategies are:

- Update the Vessel Speed Reduction Program.

- Expand the use of state-approved alternative technologies to reduce at-berth emissions.

- Encourage clean technology upgrades on ships to attract the cleanest vessels to the San Pedro Bay ports.

- Develop infrastructure plans to support alternative fuels and other energy resource goals.

The updated CAAP captures projects underway as well as future projects, including those that will require further study to determine how and when to demonstrate new technology. A roadmap for conducting feasibility assessments is among the supporting documents.

Supporting documents also include a preliminary analysis estimating the cost of implementing the 2017 CAAP at $7 billion to $14 billion. Given the magnitude of the investment, the draft plan calls for the ports to intensify their funding advocacy and increase collaboration with their partners to finance the new strategies.

The 2017 CAAP sets new clean air goals focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The plan carries over previous 2023 targets for cutting other primary pollutants aimed at reducing diesel particulate matter (DPM) 77%, sulfur oxides (SOx) 93%, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) 59% below 2005 levels.

The most recent emissions inventories show the ports have already surpassed the 2023 DPM and SOx reduction targets and are within striking range of the NOx target. The 2017 CAAP identifies the tougher measures needed to ratchet down emissions to zero or near-zero levels.

The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the United States, first and second respectively, and combined are the ninth-largest port complex in the world. The two ports handle approximately 40% of the nation's total containerized import traffic and 25% of its total exports.

Image: Gerald Desmond Bridge in Long Beach.