Posted by on December 15, 2017
Categories: Bay Area

Port of Oakland say they will complete an updated plan by next fall that’s aimed at reducing emissions from containerized cargo operations over the next decade.

Port officials told commissioners at their board meeting on Thursday that they will convene a task force this winter to revamp the Maritime Air Quality Improvement Plan that has guided the Port’s environmental policy since 2009 and will expire in 2020.

Port executives told commissioners that the new plan will address two key objectives: extending the Port’s success in reducing diesel particulate matter emissions and developing a greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy.

“Over nearly a decade, we’ve made significant progress in curbing emissions, improving air quality and protecting the community’s health,” Richard Sinkoff, the Port’s Director of Environmental Programs and Planning
said in a statement.

But Sinkoff said, “We can’t stop now – we’ve got to have a new plan in place well before the old one expires.”

The Port said that since it adopted its air quality plan eight years ago diesel emissions have fallen by 76 percent, truck emissions are down 98 percent and vessel emissions are off 76 percent.

Port officials said those reductions are important because diesel emissions have been shown to have a significant impact on public health.

The Port said the new plan can curb emissions even further by emphasizing emerging technology, such as zero and near-zero emissions cargo handling equipment. It said government grants could help in the effort to identify that kind of useful technology.

The Port said its air quality task force will include transportation officials, civic leaders, community activists and environmental experts.

The task force will be expected to produce a document for Port commissioners to vote on in the third quarter of 2018.

Port officials said the updated air quality plan should have added significance because the state is developing its own rules for freight transport and those rules are expected to severely limit emissions from trucks and ships.

Port officials say they intend to align Oakland’s policies with those of the state.