6 December 2007

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) proposed two port-related emissions reductions programs that will reduce diesel particulate matter pollution from ships and trucks throughout the state by 2014. The first regulation requires operators of certain types of ocean-going vessels to shut down their diesel auxiliary engines while docked at California’s busiest ports in favor of using shore-based electrical power. The second regulation is aimed at cleaning up emissions from the aging fleet of diesel trucks that hauls goods to and from ports and rail yards throughout the state.

The new shore power regulation will require certain fleet operators of container, passenger and refrigerated cargo ships to turn off their auxiliary engines—which power lighting, ventilation, pumps and other onboard equipment—while a ship is docked for most of its stay in port. The rule will affect almost 95% of the ship visits in the above categories. Once docked, operators would then be expected to receive their electricity from shore-based sources or meet percentage reductions through other means. The ports affected by the regulation include Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco and Hueneme in Ventura County.

Next year, ARB expects to introduce a similar rule that will reduce emissions from bulk ships, tankers and vehicle carriers. In December 2005, ARB adopted strategies that require cleaner engines in cargo handling equipment and clean fuel on ships (the latter rule was struck down by a US District Court on August 30, 2007).

The port trucks regulation addresses PM and NOx emissions from about 20,000 port or “drayage” trucks that frequently visit the ports and rail yards and have the greatest impact on local air quality. Phase one of the regulation requires all pre-1994 drayage truck engines be retired or replaced with 1994 and newer engines by the end of 2009. In addition, trucks with 1994-2003 engines will need to be either replaced or retrofitted to achieve an 85% reduction in diesel particulate matter by the same deadline. The second phase of the regulation requires all drayage trucks to meet 2007 emissions standards by the end of 2013.

The rule also requires compliant trucks working at the 14 ports and 11 rail yards affected by this regulation to be entered into a special registry by late 2009. Affected ports are Benicia, Crockett, Hueneme, Humboldt Bay (Eureka), Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Redwood City, Richmond, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Stockton. Affected intermodal rail yards are: Oakland Union Pacific (UP) and Oakland Burlington (BNSF); Hobart BNSF; LATC UP; Commerce UP; Commerce Eastern BNSF; Richmond BNSF; ICTF UP; San Bernardino; Stockton Intermodal BNSF; and Lathrop Intermodal UP.

The truck regulation is expected to reduce diesel PM emissions from drayage trucks from baseline 2007 levels some 86% (2.6 tons per day) by 2010. Emissions of NOx are expected to be reduced from 2007 baseline levels by 62% (42 tons per day) by 2014.

Similar restrictions on the use of old diesel drayage trucks were recently adopted by Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Next year, the ARB will consider a similar measure which will focus on reducing emissions from in-use private heavy duty diesel truck fleets.

Source: California ARB