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Ports Announce First Air Quality Award Winners

Five Companies Recognized for Innovation and Leadership

July 16, 2008

Winners of the first San Pedro Bay Ports Air Quality Excellence Awards were announced by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles at a luncheon today, July 16, in Long Beach. The recipients are companies that supported the Ports' call to action to clean the air by quickly finding innovative methods to reduce air pollution.

They found better ways to run the machines that move goods at the nation's No. 1 port complex: they switched to cleaner fuels, developed hybrid engines for vehicles and vessels, and invested in alternative-fueled equipment when others said it could not be done. 

"We're extremely proud to have these companies working in our Ports. These awards will not only recognize their achievements, but will also encourage others in the industry to move forward with us into an era of environmental sustainability," said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke.

"These companies have gone above and beyond status quo business practices to implement new processes that will clean the air -- something that benefits every Southern Californian," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  "We applaud their enthusiasm and their successes in leading the industry toward a new, cleaner future."  

The honorees were selected by a judging panel comprised of representatives from the two ports, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board.

The 2008 recipients are:
Leadership at the Corporate Level

AP Moller-Maersk A/S - Port of Los Angeles (POLA) - Since 2006, the company has voluntarily switched to a cleaner, low-sulfur fuel in both main and auxiliary engines of its container ships to improve air quality. Maersk is using low sulfur fuel within 24 nautical miles of the port, ahead of any regulatory mandate. The first Maersk vessel, and the first vessel in all the San Pedro Bay Ports to accomplish the low-sulfur switch was the Sine Maersk, March 31, 2006. This proactive step by the world's largest container shipping line set the bar for the rest of the maritime industry.

Foss Maritime Company -- Port of Long Beach (POLB) -- Foss Maritime, an operator of tugboats, is undertaking a number of measures to reduce emissions and improve the fuel efficiency of its tugs. The company is also constructing the world's first low-emission hybrid tugboat, the Green Dolphin, scheduled to begin service in the San Pedro Bay ports at the end of this year. For all its tugs, the company found ways to cut fuel use through improved design of hulls and propellers. The company has pioneered the use of cleaner fuels and has equipped vessels with vapor-recovery systems to capture pollutants. 

Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies 
Long Beach Container Terminal (POLB) -- LBCT has been integral in the effort to clean up the diesel-powered, heavy-duty, wharf tractors known as yard hostlers. The terminal-operating company participated in a collaborative effort to test liquefied natural gas-fueled hostlers and compare them to the diesel version. That effort produced critical insight and was completed in January 2007. Currently, LBCT is engaged in a project to test a diesel-electric hybrid hostler which could yield a more than 90 percent reduction in soot and smog-forming emissions from traditional hostlers.

Yusen Terminals, Inc. (POLA) -- Yusen Terminals has been a partner in testing new technologies and has an impressive list of clean equipment in its terminal including: the first second-generation Alternative Maritime Power (AMP) shore-side power installation; a bio-diesel study site for a yard truck; and a test site for hydrogen injection and cargo-handling equipment fuel management systems. Yusen is also testing the first LNG yard truck; installing Vycon flywheel power-regeneration systems on cranes; and participating in the Maintenance Van Hybrid Chassis Study. 

Significant Early Action 
Southern Counties Express (POLA) -- Southern Counties Express is a trucking company recognized as a leader in using of LNG-powered trucks to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gases. At a time when other trucking companies questioned the viability of switching from diesel fuel, Southern Counties was willing to explore the alternative fuel option. The company was able to secure grant funding from the Port of Los Angeles, Port of Long Beach and the South Coast Air Quality Management District to deploy a fleet of 71 LNG trucks. Southern Counties Express partnered with Clean Energy to build and operate an LNG truck fueling station at Southern Counties' Carson facility which is publicly available to the port trucking community. 
The Air Quality Excellence Awards are an outgrowth of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan, which was adopted by the Harbor Commissions of the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in 2006. The Clean Air Action Plan includes a number of initiatives aimed at reducing harmful emissions from ships, trucks, trains and other heavy equipment used in the movement of cargo through the ports of  Long Beach and Los Angeles by nearly 50 percent by 2012.

To view the video of the ceremony, click here.

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