Northwest ports post progress toward clean air goals

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The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, an initiative of the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Metro Vancouver, B.C., is a long-term collaborative agreement to reduce emissions in the Puget Sound and Georgia air basins. A newly released implementation report demonstrates how the agencies are meeting short- and long-term clean air goals for ships, cargo-handling equipment, rail, trucks and harbor craft.

The goals were adopted in early 2008 as part of the groundbreaking Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. The implementation report calls out the improvements achieved by all three ports through their cooperative relationships with customers, tenants and air and environmental regulatory agencies. The ports say the 2010 results announced Tuesday, June 14, mark the end of the strategy’s first milestone, showing progress in producing cleaner air for the communities that surround our harbors.

Results, according to the ports, include the following:
• Ships: 44 percent of ships calling frequently used low-sulfur fuels or electrical shore power to meet the performance measure;
• Cargo-handling equipment: 62 percent of diesel-powered equipment met the performance measure through retrofits, replacements or use of low-sulfur fuels;
• Trucks: 98 percent of drayage trucks met the measure through outreach, engine retrofits or incentive programs;
• Rail: Partner agencies replaced engines, added idle- and friction-reduction technologies and used low-sulfur fuels;
• Harbor craft: Despite technical challenges, made progress through replaced engines, shore power connections, resurfaced hulls and low-sulfur fuels; and
• Administration: Made progress through conservation programs, hybrid vehicle fleets and commute-trip reductions.