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Ports Announce Annual Clean Air Award Winners

Five harbor-area firms honored for proactively targeting air pollution

July 29, 2010

Five local maritime and cargo companies that have taken extraordinary steps to improve air quality collected honors today at the third annual San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan Air Quality Awards presented by the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.

The recipients include a wide array of port businesses: a trucking firm, a scrap metal recycler, a marine terminal operator, a tugboat company and a port-pilot service. All have voluntarily gone above and beyond required air quality measures.

"The companies we're honoring today have shown an extraordinary commitment to growing green in the San Pedro Bay port complex," said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. “It’s this kind of forward thinking that has helped our ports significantly reduce air emissions, modernize facilities and cultivate new technologies that help ensure good jobs and a brighter future for millions of people.”

“These companies are joining in the ports’ vision of a modern, green seaport complex that reduces its environmental impact while improving its services,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Richard D. Steinke. “Together, we are accomplishing the goals of achieving dramatically cleaner, healthier air while continuing to provide jobs to the region.”

When the ports adopted the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP) in 2006, they called for the goods movement industry to join them -- to voluntarily commit to the same environmental ideals. As demonstrated by the winners in this year’s CAAP awards, many companies are more than willing and able to join in the fight for clean air.

Nominees were judged by a panel that included representatives of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, California Air Resources Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

The 2010 winners fall into three categories:

Air Quality Leadership at the Corporate Level

California Cartage Company (Cal Cartage): Cal Cartage is one of the nation’s largest port drayage trucking companies, serving both ports. The company has nearly half of all of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks now operating in the local port complex. These LNG trucks emit 83 percent less oxides of nitrogen (NOx), no diesel particulate matter, and 23 percent less greenhouse gases than the cleanest 2007 model year diesel trucks. In addition to Cal Cartage’s nearly 400-strong LNG fleet, the company has aggressively upgraded the rest of its operation to new state-of-the-art clean diesel technologies.  

Matson Navigation Company: Matson, which operates at the Port of Long Beach, voluntarily retrofitted three of its ships so that it can plug into shore power once the electrical berth infrastructure is in place later this year, well in advance of state law. And as part of its environmental management system, Matson adopted “green” goals to reduce the impact of company operations on the environment. Matson vessels switched to low-sulfur fuels within 24 nautical miles of the California coast before the regulatory requirement, and Matson achieves at least 90 percent compliance with the Port of Long Beach’s Green Flag vessel speed reduction program. Matson has been honored for the last two years as one of the top 14 carriers in the Green Flag program.  

Innovative Air Quality Improvement Technologies

Jacobsen Pilot Services Inc.:  Jacobsen provides port-pilot services to ships calling at the Port of Long Beach. To take its pilots to and from vessels arriving and departing the port, Jacobsen brought in the “Altair,” the first and only outboard-powered pilot boat operating on West Coast. The vessel, which handles about 40 percent of the company’s workload, serves as an excellent pilot boat while reducing air emissions and improving efficiency. The boat’s engines have 84 percent less emissions than a conventional outboard motor and emit no diesel particulate matter. Jacobsen designed, funded and began using the “Altair” as a completely voluntary effort to improve efficiency and reduce air pollution.

Significant Early Action to Reduce Emissions

Crowley Marine Services:  Crowley provides tugboat services at the ports.  In advance of regulatory requirements, Crowley has replaced eight main diesel engines and four diesel auxiliary engines on four of its vessels at a cost of roughly $1 million per tug. The effort was conducted with assistance from the Port of Los Angeles Air Quality Mitigation Incentive Program. Through this early action, the repowered tugs are expected to reduce particulate matter emissions by more than 3 tons per year and nitrogen oxides by more than 100 tons per year.

SA Recycling, LLC:  A leading scrap metal recycler, SA Recycling has retired, replaced, and retrofitted cargo-handling equipment at its facilities in both ports, exceeding state clean-air regulatory requirements. SA Recycling enforces a five-minute idling limit on equipment and customer tractor-trailers. The company also works to prevent unnecessary handling and movement of equipment to reduce emissions.

The Air Quality Awards were created to further the goals of the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. The Plan is a master strategy aimed at reducing harmful emissions from ships, trucks, trains and other heavy equipment used in the movement of cargo through the ports.

The Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach are the two busiest U.S. seaports, moving $300 billion in trade each year and supporting more than 500,000 jobs in Southern California.

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