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Progress on reducing emissions at Seattle port

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The Port of Seattle may be running a bit ahead of the game, or at least ahead of the hammer of stringent pending Environmental Protection Agency rules with the results it is reporting from its activities in connection with the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy.

“Trucks, ships, and cargo-handling equipment will see lower emissions levels,” the port says.

The port’s staff last week reported favorable results to the five-member port commission, which oversees port activities, on the major components of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. Initial results from the At-Berth Clean (ABC) Fuels Program, Clean Truck Program, and retrofits on cargo handling equipment “show goals are either being met or exceeded, preventing tons of pollution from entering the local environment.”

”The goal of our environmental efforts has been to reduce impacts on public health and the environment while maintaining a vibrant seaport,” says Sarah Flagg, the port’s Environmental Manager in a press release. “We worked with our partners and customers to develop a collaborative, fact-based program to reduce emissions from goods movement.”

The results for 2009 bear this out, she says. In its first year, the ABC Fuels program has exceeded expectations, preventing almost 68 metric tons of sulfur from entering Seattle’s environment. Also, the truck-scrapping program has seen 35 pre-1994 trucks taken off the road. Clean air efforts initiated by the port also include retrofitting cargo-handling equipment, which reduce particulate matter emissions by 25 percent to 50 percent.

When a prior study showed that 75 percent of the excess cancer risk from air toxics comes from diesel, a critical component in any working port, the port began working with local organizations, initiating voluntary efforts and guidelines to curtail these pollutants.

The result was the 2005 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory, one of the most comprehensive maritime air emissions inventories ever conducted and the first to include greenhouse gases. This collaborative effort was a partnership of the Port of Seattle, the EPA, American Lung Association of WA, PSCAA, and the WA State Dept. of Ecology.

Other PNW ports, including the ports of Tacoma and Everett in Washington, and Port Metro Vancouver in British Columbia are working together with Seattle on the region’s clean air strategy.

The Port of Tacoma reports that it helped to improve the environment last year through toxin-filtering trees, cleaner-burning engines, restored habitat, customer and tenant trainings, and recycled demolition materials. Its 2010 budget includes nearly $23 million planned for more environmental programs.



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Written by William DiBenedetto

18 January, 2010 at 12:21 pm

One Response

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    Issac Maez

    1 February, 2010 at 1:28 pm


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