Board Approves Green Flag Dockage Rates
Reduced Rates for Ship Operators Meeting Environmental Targets
March 2, 2006
Environmentally friendly ship operators will be rewarded with lower dockage rates under a Port of Long Beach tariff reduction approved by the Board of Harbor Commissioners Monday, February 27.
The reduced dockage rates are the key component of Port of Long Beach’s Green Flag Incentive Program, a $2.2 million-a-year clean air initiative approved by the Board in October. The program provides financial incentives and recognition to the Port’s vessel operators who participate consistently in a voluntary speed-reduction program designed to reduce air pollution.
Under the Green Flag program, ocean vessels that observe a 12-knot speed limit within 20 miles of the Port during an entire year of voyages to and from Long Beach will be awarded a Green Flag environmental achievement award to recognize their contributions to improved air quality. Ocean carriers, who operate the individual ships, will qualify for a 15 percent discounted Green Flag dockage rate during the following 12 months if 90 percent of their vessels comply with the 12-knot speed limit for a year.
About 65 percent of all vessels now comply with the Port’s voluntary speed reduction program, which has been in place since 2001. The goal of the Green Flag Program is to encourage 100 percent compliance. The Board of Harbor Commissioners will review the results in two years and determine whether to continue the Green Flag incentives.
“We’ve had great success with the voluntary speed reduction program,” said Jill Morgan, the Port’s Manager of Maritime Services. “With the Green Flag incentives, we hope to achieve full cooperation from all our vessel operators, resulting in even more air quality improvements.”
Port officials estimate that if all vessels comply with the program, the amount of smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) produced by container ships would be reduced by nearly 550 tons a year.
The new Green Flag program provides incentives only to vessels calling at the Port of Long Beach (the 2001 Voluntary Vessel Speed Reduction Program includes the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports). The Marine Exchange of Southern California measures and records the speeds of every vessel in the speed reduction zone.
Green Flag was developed under the guidelines of the Port’s Green Port Policy, which calls in part for incentives to minimize or avoid the harmful environmental impacts of port operations.
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