Green Flag Compliance Jumps
September 14, 2006
Compliance with the Port’s Green Flag environmental program jumped to 84.6 percent in July, the highest monthly compliance rate yet. The Green Flag program rewards ship operators for reducing vessel speeds in the harbor, which helps curb air pollution.
In the most current available figures, cruise ships led the way with a 89.3 percent compliance rate, followed by container ships at 87.1 percent, car carriers at 84.6 percent, tankers at 81.4 percent and bulk vessels at 75.5 percent.
In February the Board of Harbor Commissioners approved the Green Flag incentive program to encourage higher compliance with voluntary ship speed reduction program, which has been in place since 2001. In February the compliance rate was about 65 percent. The figures for the year through July show a combined compliance rate of 79.5 percent.
The Port’s Green Flag goal is 100 percent compliance, which would reduce smog-forming nitrogen oxides (NOx) by nearly 500 tons a year.
Under the Green Flag program, ships that observe a 12-knot speed limit within 20 miles of the Port during an entire year of voyages are awarded Green Flags to recognize their contributions to improved air quality. Ocean carriers, who operate the individual ships, can qualify for reduced dockage rates if 90 percent or more of their vessels comply with the speed limit for a year.
To see the full results of the Green Flag program, visit the Port’s Green Flag web page at http://polb.com/environment/air_quality/vessels/default.asp.