Report: Maritime-related pollution drops in Puget Sound region
Port-related air pollution has decreased by up to 40 percent in the Puget Sound region since 2005, according to a report released Tuesday.
The progress is largely attributed to the investment of private and public sectors in green technology, cleaner fuels and efficiency, including using low-sulfur fuel and shore power, replacing or retrofitting old engines and improving procedures. The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, an initiative of the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Metro Vancouver, B.C., has helped to further reduce emissions.
"The results of the 2011 Emissions Inventory are significant, with substantial pollution reductions across the board for the Port of Seattle," said Gael Tarleton, port commission President. "The Seattle Port Commission has been committed to finding answers that will inform our decisions for years to come."
The 2011 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory updated the port's 2005 baseline inventory.
The inventory assessed greenhouse gases, diesel particulate matter and other pollutants such as sulfur dioxides and volatile organic compounds. It focused on emissions related to ships, harbor vessels, cargo-handling equipment, rail, heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles associated with port activities.
Since 2005 all pollution measurements were reduced. Nitrogen oxides in 2011 were down by 14 percent, volatile organic compounds by 40 percent, sulfur oxides by 14 percent, particulate matters by 16 percent, diesel particulate matter by percent and carbon dioxide by 5 percent.
In 2011, diesel particulate matter emissions declined 16 percent in ocean vessels, increased 7 percent in harbor vessels, dropped 24 percent in locomotives, dropped 40 percent in cargo-handling equipment, decreased 52 percent in heavy-duty vehicles, and dropped 52 percent in fleet vehicles.