Truck Diesel Emissions at Port of Oakland Down 98 Percent - Global Trade Magazine
  November 17th, 2016 | Written by

Truck Diesel Emissions at Port of Oakland Down 98 Percent

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  • 76-percent decrease in total diesel emissions at the Oakland seaport.
  • Program upgraded and replaced the oldest trucks operating at the port of Oakland.
  • The port of Oakland banned trucks that aren’t compliant with statewide emissions requirements.

Diesel emissions from trucks serving the Port of Oakland declined 98 percent between 2005 and 2015. In that same timeframe, ship emissions dropped 75 percent.

Those were the key findings of an emissions inventory recently released by the port. The results indicate the port is advancing its 2008 commitment to reduce seaport-related diesel health risk by 85 percent by 2020.

The port said that an analysis of the 2015 Emissions Inventory shows a 76-percent decrease in total diesel emissions at the Oakland seaport. “This is a significant achievement,” said Richard Sinkoff, director of environmental programs and planning at the port. “The reduction in seaport diesel emissions is important because it’s closely related to reducing health risk for our neighboring communities.”

According to the port’s study, truck diesel particulate matter (DPM) emissions have decreased from 16 tons in 2005 to 0.4 tons in 2015. Overall DPM emissions decreased from 261 tons to 63 tons. DPM exposure has been linked to increasing health risk for lung cancer.

The port listed a number of contributing factors to its emissions improvements. A $38-million grant program was made to upgrade and replace the oldest trucks operating at the port. The port banned trucks that aren’t compliant with statewide emissions requirements. Shipping lines switched to cleaner burning, low sulfur fuel. The port also conducted a $60-million project to construct a power grid that ships can plug into at berth rather than relying on auxiliary diesel engines.

“The work and investments by the port and our partners have nearly eliminated port truck emissions and greatly reduced other emissions,” said Chris Lytle, Port of Oakland executive director. “But we’re not done. We’ll keep working to minimize the potential impact that trade has on our community.”

The port and environmental consultant Ramboll Environ compiled and calculated emissions data for 2015 from ships, harbor craft, cargo handling equipment, trucks, and locomotives.

A breakdown of diesel particulate matter emissions improvement shows truck DPM is 98 percent;

locomotives—down 89 percent; cargo handling equipment—down 82 percent; ocean going vessels—down 75 percent; and harbor craft—down 53 percent.

The port said its 2009 Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan has been the biggest factor in curbing diesel emissions. The plan was adopted to reduce the health risk from diesel emissions. It was developed in conjunction with nearby residents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, trucking companies, marine terminal operators, railroads, and ocean carriers.

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