California ports recognize Clean Air Award winners

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Five California maritime and cargo companies that have taken steps to improve air quality collected honors last week at the third annual San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan Air Quality Awards presented by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The recipients include a wide array of port businesses: a trucking firm, a scrap metal recycler, a marine terminal operator, a tugboat company and a port-pilot service. All voluntarily went above and beyond required air quality measures, the ports say.

California Cartage Co. (Cal Cartage) was recognized for “Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level.” Cal Cartage is one of the nation’s largest port drayage trucking companies, serving both ports. The company has nearly half of all of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks now operating in the local port complex. These LNG trucks emit 83 percent less oxides of nitrogen (NOx), no diesel particulate matter and 23 percent less greenhouse gases than the cleanest 2010 model-year diesel trucks. In addition to Cal Cartage’s nearly 400-strong LNG fleet, the company has upgraded the rest of its operation aggressively to new state-of-the-art clean diesel technologies.

Also recognized by the ports were Matson Navigation Co., Jacobsen Pilot Services Inc., Crowley Marine Services and SA Recycling. “The companies we’re honoring today have shown an extraordinary commitment to growing green in the San Pedro Bay port complex,” says Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “It’s this kind of forward thinking that has helped our ports significantly reduce air emissions, modernize facilities and cultivate new technologies that help ensure good jobs and a brighter future for millions of people.”

When the ports adopted the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in 2006, they called for the goods movement industry to join them – to commit voluntarily to the same environmental ideals. Nominees were judged by a panel that included representatives of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“These companies are joining in the ports’ vision of a modern, green seaport complex that reduces its environmental impact while improving its services,” says Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. “Together, we are accomplishing the goals of achieving dramatically cleaner, healthier air while continuing to provide jobs to the region.”