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Sustainability Spotlight: Ports of LB and LA Update the Clean Air Action Plan

Release Date: 2017-11-09

The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles have updated their joint Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) with goals extending through 2050.The two ports have already seen incredible reductions in emissions since the inaugural CAAP was created in 2006. Since 2005, the Port of Long Beach has reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 22%, and created even larger reductions in diesel particulate matter (88%), nitrogen oxides (57%), and sulfur oxides (97%). The 2017 update continues the Port’s commitment to reducing emissions of harmful particulates, and sets goals for GHG emissions reductions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% below by 2050.

The boards of the Port of Long Beach and Los Angeles held a joint meeting on November 2nd where they unanimously approved the 2017 CAAP Update. “These new policies and strategies are some of the most progressive air quality rules in the nation,” said Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are serious about fighting climate change, protecting local residents, and promoting economic success at our ports.”

To meet these goals, the CAAP Update lays out a series of strategies. The ports will transition to zero emissions cargo handling equipment and are investing in infrastructure to support it. They will also be incentivizing greener ships to call at the ports, and expanding the low speed incentive zone from 20 to 40 nautical miles (reducing ship emissions close to shore). Drayage trucks will also see new incentives to decrease emissions and upgrade to cleaner engines. The CAAP doesn’t prescribe any required solutions. This leaves the door open to new programs and policies to make use of new technologies or take advantage of future opportunities.

Meeting these goals will require a huge investment, between $7 and $14 billion, as well as innovation and new technologies that aren’t commercially available yet. The two ports are committed to finding solutions to cleaner air so they can continue to expand economic opportunities while reducing their environmental footprint, and be a model for sustainability and green growth.