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EPA takes big step to regulate aircraft GHGs

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Pulpolux_20secondsThe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) intends to issue a scientific finding that greenhouse gases from aircraft pose a risk to human health, paving the way for regulating emissions from the U.S. aviation industry.

Touching off what is likely to be a long and contentious regulatory process, the EPA on Wednesday said it is “proposing to find under the Clean Air Act that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from commercial aircraft contribute to the pollution that causes climate change endangering the health and welfare of Americans.”

At the same time, the agency released information about the international process underway by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) for developing carbon dioxide (CO2) standards for aircraft and EPA’s participation in that process. EPA is seeking public input to inform future steps by the agency. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

10 June, 2015 at 11:27 am

PNW Trifecta: Shore power at Tacoma, FAA grant for Sea-Tac, EPA award for Portland

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It was a very good week indeed for green and Pacific Northwest—the PNW’s first cargo ship plugged into shore power at the Port of Tacoma, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport received an $18 million environmental grant and the Port of Portland received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Here’s the run-down:

– State, federal and Port of Tacoma and Totem Ocean Trailer Express officials flipped the switch on October 27 on the Pacific Northwest’s first cargo ship to run on dockside shore power.

Helped by an EPA grant worth nearly $1.5 million, two TOTE cargo ships will now plug into electrical power and shut down diesel engines while docked during weekly calls at their Tacoma terminal. Also known as cold ironing, it’s a great way to reduce air-polluting diesel emissions, but has been slow to catch on. Passenger vessels at the Port of Seattle have had the shore power option for several years.

Tacoma port officials said the $2.7 million shore power project will reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 percent during TOTE’s 100 ship calls each year in Tacoma. That equals about 1.9 tons of diesel particulates and 1,360 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

TOTE, a private shipping company that serves the Alaska trade, contributed about $1.2 million to retrofit the two ships to accommodate shore power connections and add some of the terminal infrastructure. The port provided environmental permitting, grant administration and project management.

The EPA grant was provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act
(ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Read the rest of this entry »

PNW flys with biofuel

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Pacific Northwest aviation businesses and airports are flying together to promote aviation biofuel development in the region.

The “strategic initiative,” launched this week, includes Alaska Airlines, The Boeing Company, Portland International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Spokane International Airport and Washington State University. The  “Sustainable Aviation Fuel Northwest” project is the first regional assessment of this kind in the U.S., according to a joint announcement from the group.

It will examine all phases of developing a sustainable biofuel industry, including biomass production and harvest, refining, transport infrastructure and actual use by airlines. It will include an analysis of potential biomass sources that are indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, including algae, agriculturally based oilseeds such as camelina, wood byproducts and others. The project is jointly funded by the participating parties and is expected to be completed in about six months.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

15 July, 2010 at 9:03 am

KLM flies passengers with bio-kerosene

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If you were one of the passengers on KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s first passenger flight powered by bio-kerosene last week, then you were also one of the first to get a whiff of this new sustainable fuel, if indeed it is whiff-able.

The Netherlands airline also announced the formation of a joint venture to develop sustainable biofuels on a large scale. Called SkyEnergy, the consortium includes KLM, North Sea Petroleum and Spring Associates. In addition, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) will advise the consortium about the ecological aspects of the venture.

Peter Hartman, KLM’s president and CEO, said the test flight proved that “this is technically feasible. Government, industry and society at large must now join forces to ensure that we quickly gain access to a continuous supply of biofuel.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

30 November, 2009 at 12:53 pm

GoGreen gets to North America

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dhl_gogreen11DHL’s GoGreen climate change program has reached North America’s shores, but not the U.S.  A year after the GoGreen launch in Europe the German package express delivery and logistics has made it available in Canada.

DHL Express Canada’s GoGreen service is described by the company as a “carbon-neutral” shipping option that “enables Canadian businesses of all sizes to ship their goods internationally without leaving an environmental footprint.”

DHL adds that the value-added service that makes use of carbon offsets and low emission transporation technologies provides companies with a seamless, eco-friendly friendly shipping option; it’s available from anywhere in Canada to more than 220 countries around the world.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

27 October, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Lighten the load, save the planet

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ANAHere’s my offering for Blog Action Day:

There’s All Nippon Airways’ bizarre initiative urging passengers to visit the terminal restroom and “lighten the load” before boarding their planes. These pre-flight emissions apparently will help reduce fuel and carbon emissions, according to a recent report in the UK’s Daily Mail.

Seriously, the Japanese airline says lighter passengers mean lighter aircraft, which means less fuel consumption. It has a kind of Fox News logic to it maybe, but then … never mind.

Nippon hopes the one-month trial, which started Oct. 1, will reduce carbon emissions by five tons in 30 days. It might be interesting to delve into how ANA came up with that number and the science and measurement techniques used, but then… never mind.

It’s just another dumb thing that passengers are subjected to the minute we enter the airport. I know – let’s require all passengers to disrobe entirely before boarding and carry-on a maximum of 10 pounds of stuff and no baggage. (That would also make going through security much more fun and a breeze, so to speak.)

How about requiring that we go on a diet and lose at least five pounds before every flight? That would lighten the load considerably and contribute to the general health of the populace.

Then once aboard, instead of pretzels during the flight airlines could serve beans because after all, they need the gas.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

15 October, 2009 at 11:47 am

DOE grant helps Sea-Tac go electric

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seatacgroundThe Department of Energy awarded $5 million to help the Port of Seattle’s Seattle-Tacoma Airport install electric charging stations for aircraft ground support equipment.

Airlines operating at Sea-Tac and the port, which owns and operates the airport, will match the DOE grant.

The cost-share project will replace about 200 gas and diesel vehicles with electric-powered equipment, and will save more than 400,000 gallons of fuel a year, according to DOE.

The move “jumpstarts Sea-Tac’s efforts to be the first airport in the U.S. to fully electrify its fleet of ground support equipment,” the agency says. Sea-Tac currently has about 650 ground support vehicles.

In addition to the fuel savings, the project is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 4,500 metric tons per year.

Initial focus of the project will be gasoline baggage tractors and loading equipment because they are large fuel consumers at the airport. The project will install new electric charging stations on the ramp area.

For more information on activity nationwide on cost-sharing projects under the Clean Cities program, which is funded with nearly $300 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, visit the DOE website page or the Puget Sound Clean Cities Coalition.

Written by William DiBenedetto

27 August, 2009 at 11:03 am


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