EPA Says Clean Strategies and Tech the Key to Greener Ports

The declaration is the result of a new report, "the National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports."

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Friday released a new report, "the National Port Strategy Assessment: Reducing Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases at U.S. Ports," which found that air pollution from diesel-powered ships, trucks, and other port equipment at the country's ports can be significantly reduced through a variety of strategies and cleaner technologies.

"This report shows that there are many opportunities to reduce harmful pollution at ports that we know will work," said Christopher Grundler, director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality, adding: "this is great news for the roughly 39 million Americans who live and breathe near these centers of commerce."

The study explores current and future emission trends from diesel engines in port areas, and analyses the emission reduction potential of various strategies, including the deployment zero emissions technologies and engines replacements.

"U.S. ports are set to expand significantly as international trade continues to grow, and the size of ships coming to ports increases. This growth means more diesel engines at ports emitting carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change," explained EPA, noting that such engines also emit fine particulate matter, and nitrogen oxides, among other pollutants, which contribute to human health problems.

The study results are said to support EPA's Ports Initiative's goals to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases, through which the organisation says it will continue to engage a wide range of stakeholders, including ports and port operators, communities, tribes, state and local governments, and industry, as well as other technical and policy stakeholders.

The EPA notes that the North American and U.S. Caribbean Sea Emission Control Areas (ECAs) have already shown a reduction in fuel-based particulate-matter emissions from vessels operating within the zones of 90 percent.

In April, Ship & Bunker reported that the California Air Resources Board (ARB) had determined that the North American ECA alone is not currently likely achieve sufficient emission reductions within Regulated California Waters, and as such, the California Ocean-Going Vessel (OGV) Fuel Regulation would remain in place for at least another two years.



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