The Port of Long Beach has reported record reductions in diesel particulates and nitrogen oxides in 2020, meeting its 2023 air goals.
Revealed in the port’s annual emissions inventory report, which was presented to the Long Beach Board of Harbour Commissioners on 28 October 2021, diesel soot decreased 90%, smog-forming nitrogen oxides decreased by 62% and sulphur oxides was down by 97%, all while container throughput increased by 21%.
These pollution levels are all compared to the 2005 baseline, one year prior to the San Pedro Bay Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) being adopted.
Several factors contributed to these reductions, largely related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These included the stoppage of cruise ship passenger operations in mid-March and fewer oil tankers calling at the port.
“We celebrate this success, but our ultimate goal is still to be an emissions-free port,” said Steven Neal, Long Beach Harbour Commission President. “No one should doubt this, and we are continuing to invest in the technology needed for cleaner equipment.”
Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach, added “We are absolutely committed to showing the way forward for sustainable goods movement. At the same time, our industry partners and other stakeholders deserve a great deal of credit for cleaning the air. We could not have accomplished this without a shared commitment to cleaner operations.”
The Port of Long Beach is currently experiencing a huge surge in demand, leading to congestion and long waiting times for vessels. To help alleviate some of the pressure the port is facing, the City of Long Beach announced it will temporarily waive enforcement of current shipping container stacking and height limits for a 90-day period.
Announced in October 2021, during these 90 days, affected operations will be allowed to stack up to four shipping containers without being cited for a code violation. These measures will only apply to properties that are currently zoned to allow shipping container stacking.