Friday, June 14, 2013

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NW ports set joint goals to reduce air pollution

The Ports of Seattle, Port of Tacoma and Port Metro Vancouver B.C. released the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, a joint strategic plan designed to reduce diesel emissions by 75 percent per ton of cargo by 2015 and by 80 percent by 2020.

Combined with projected cargo growth, the plan is forecast to result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020.

"The good news is that emissions are down and in this strategy update we are setting more aggressive goals for the near future," said Stephanie Jones Stebbins, director of environmental and planning at the Port of Seattle. "The draft strategy update includes both aggressive reduction goals and sector-specific actions to meet those goals."

The 2013 Update was based on the results of the 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory released last October. The inventory found maritime-related air pollution has decreased since 2005, due in part to investments in cleaner technology and cleaner fuels and by the maritime industry and government agencies.

To develop and implement the this 2013 Strategy Update, the three ports partnered with other government agencies responsible for protecting air quality in the airshed, including Environment Canada, Metro Vancouver, the EPA, the Washington State Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Clean Air Agency. The airshed centers on the Salish Sea and includes the Strait of Juan de Fuca, greater Puget Sound area, Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait, Boundary Pass, Rosario Strait and other nearby waterways.

The public is invited to comment on the draft 2013 Update from June 11 to July 26. Comments will be accepted at open houses hosted by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma in June and July.

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