The reasons for air quality improvements include bigger ships carrying cargo more efficiently, newer ships with cleaner engines, the Jan. 1, 2012 deadline for full implementation of the Clean Trucks Programme, increasing use of shore power, and a new low-sulphur fuel rule for ships that started in August 2012.
Compared to 2005 emissions levels, all of the key air pollutants from port-related sources were reduced in 2012. In addition to the drop in diesel emissions, smog-forming nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides have been cut 54% and 88% respectively. Greenhouse gases were lowered by 24%. The reduction in pollutants far outpaced a 10% decline in containerised cargo activity in the same period.
The annual analysis of air pollution from port sources ― literally an “emissions inventory” ― is conducted to check the Port’s progress in improving air quality. The San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan ― created in 2006 ― maps out a strategy to reduce or prevent pollution from the ships, trucks, locomotives, tractors and cranes that move cargo.