The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach today released the draft of their proposed 2017 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) Update. The document outlines a new set of aggressive near-term and long-term strategies for the nation’s busiest harbor complex to further reduce harmful air pollution from all port-related sources, assist the state in meeting aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals, and ultimately achieve zero emissions for trucks and terminal equipment.
The document’s release kicks off a public review and comment period that extends through Sept. 18. Written comments may be submitted to CAAP@cleanairactionplan.org until 5 p.m. on the closing date. The ports will also hold an Aug. 30 public workshop at Banning’s Landing Community Center, located at 100 Water St. in Wilmington, starting at 5 p.m. for people to comment. 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.”
“Working closely with all our partners has been crucial to our success. That same collaboration went into the development of the 2017 CAAP and will be indispensable going forward,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero. “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.”
The draft 2017 CAAP ushers in a new era of clean air strategies that seek to address the enormous challenges of reducing harmful emissions from port-related sources: ships, trucks, cargo handling equipment, locomotives and harbor craft. The strategies also reinforce the ports’ commitment to sustainable operations that maintain and strengthen their competitive position in the global economy.
The draft 2017 CAAP Update incorporates feedback from nearly two years of extensive dialogue with industry, environmental groups, regulatory agencies and neighboring communities. The ports conducted multiple small-group meetings and a large public workshop prior to releasing a Discussion Document last November detailing their goals, priorities and strategies for public review and comment.
Since then, the ports have held more than 50 stakeholder meetings and another community workshop leading into today’s release of the draft 2017 CAAP Update.
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 CAAP also aligns with the vision and targets of state and local leadership, as identified in the California Sustainable Freight Action Plan adopted in 2016 and the aggressive joint zero emissions initiatives announced in early June by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia.
Grouped under four categories, the 2017 CAAP’s near-term and long-term strategies include:
Clean Vehicles, Equipment Technology and Fuels
- Starting in 2018, phase in clean engine standards for new trucks entering the port drayage registries followed by a truck rate structure that encourages the use of near-zero and zero emissions trucks, with the goal of transitioning to a zero emissions drayage fleet by 2035.
- Reduce idling and support the state’s efforts to transition terminal equipment to zero emissions by 2030.
- Update the Vessel Speed Reduction Program, expand the use of state-approved alternative technologies to reduce at-berth emissions, and encourage clean technology upgrades on ships to attract the cleanest vessels to the San Pedro Bay ports.
Freight Infrastructure Investment and Planning
- Expand use of on-dock rail, with the long-term goal of moving 50 percent of all inbound cargo leaving the ports by rail.
- Develop charging standards for electric cargo handling equipment.
- Develop a universal truck appointment system for the entire complex with the goal of minimizing truck turn times.
- Create a voluntary Green Terminal Program to recognize terminal operators achieving high levels of freight movement efficiency.
- Continue to explore short-haul rail, staging yards, intelligent transportation systems and other supply chain efficiency improvements.
Energy Resource Planning
- Develop infrastructure plans to support terminal equipment electrification, alternative fuels and other energy resource goals.
- Continue to develop and implement viable energy conservation, resiliency and management strategies.
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 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80 percent 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 percent, sulfur oxides (SOx) 93 percent, and nitrogen oxides (NOx) 59 percent 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 harmful emissions to zero or near-zero levels.
The Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach are the two largest ports in the nation, first and second respectively, and combined are the ninth-largest port complex in the world. The two ports handle approximately 40 percent of the nation’s total containerized import traffic and 25 percent of its total exports. Trade that flows through the San Pedro Bay ports complex generates more than 3 million jobs nationwide.