Friday, October 16, 2015

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Port of Los Angeles reaching emissions goals 10 years early

A new study shows that because of major upgrades started a decade ago, the port is almost 10 years ahead of its emissions goals.

In L.A., the air was so bad from diesel-burning container ships and trucks that the surrounding neighborhood of San Pedro sued the city, launching a highly publicized public health battle. In 2005 a series of strict environmental reforms planned to cap emissions at 2001 levels, something that was called impossible at the time. But ten years later, L.A. did it, reports the Daily Breeze:

"In addition to the 85 percent drop in particulate matter since 2005, sulfur oxides have plummeted 97 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions were down 52 percent in the same period, the port said in a news release."

That 85 percent drop in particulate matter is extremely notable because that’s a measurement that is directly in response to that lawsuit. And statistics show the reduction in health risks for people who live near the port are already hitting 2020 goals.

One of the biggest changes at the Port of LA is the construction of what are essentially giant electric

"plug-in" charging stations for container ships to keep them from burning more diesel in the port. There’s also an e-highway being planned that would remove more of the emissions from tractor-trailers.

But not all of the changes required complex infrastructure upgrades. Some of the largest impacts came from changes that cost almost nothing, like asking ships to slow down to 12 knots within 20 nautical miles out of port. It’s a small change that really adds up when it comes to emissions — and improving public health.

For more of the Gizmodo story:

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