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U.S. EPA honors Port of Long Beach for environmental efforts

Release Date: 6/1/2005
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, Cell: (213) 798-1404, Main press line: (415) 947-8700

LOS ANGELES The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the Port of Long Beach, Calif., its prestigious 2005 Environmental Award in recognition of the improvements made to help achieve cleaner air and water.

The Port of Long Beach was selected along with 36 other environmental heroes for their efforts to protect and preserve the environment during 2004. The EPA Pacific Southwest Region received more than 175 nominations this year.

"The Port of Long Beach provides innovative approaches to improve the environmental circumstances of its community, without sacrificing essential economic activity," said Wayne Nastri, Regional Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Francisco, Calif.

"We are very honored that the EPA has recognized the Port's efforts to protect the environment," said Geraldine Knatz, the Port's managing director of development, who also heads the Port's environmental programs.

In 2003, over 4.6 million containers and other cargo worth $95.9 billion moved through the Port of Long Beach. The port has implemented Healthy Harbor Long Beach, a series of programs that reduce the impacts of port activity on public health and the environment.

The Port of Long Beach's Air Quality Improvement Plan achieves measurable reductions in air pollutant emissions from Port operations, particularly diesel particulate matter. A key component of this effort is the Diesel Emission Reduction Program, which has introduced of state-of-the-art emissions control technologies and alternative fueled vehicles.

In addition, under the Diesel Emission Reduction Program, Long Beach has installed nearly 600 diesel oxidation catalysts - a pollution-control device installed in the exhaust system much like a muffler that removes particulates from exhaust. As exhaust gases pass through the honeycomb structure, pollutants are oxidized to water vapor and carbon dioxide. Diesel oxidation catalysts can be used with regular diesel fuel. They are available for all engines and introduced alternative fuels, such as emulsified diesel.

To date, the Diesel Emission Reduction Program has generated total annual emission reductions of over 14 tons of diesel particulate matter and 43 tons of NOx; the cost of controlling NOx is less than $4,000 per ton.

Another Port of Long Beach environmentally-oriented program is a joint project with BP to cold-iron vessels - encouraging docked ships to turn off their engines and use shore-based power for all electrical needs, rather than idling their engines and polluting the air.

Other noteworthy Port of Long Beach environmental programs include: a reduction of excess smoke-stack emissions from ocean-going vessels; the vessel speed reduction program; a liquefied-natural gas-powered yard hostler demonstration; and the use of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in all construction projects.

The Port of Long Beach's on-going commitment to reduce impacts of port operations on the local community is represented by these programs and the Port's recently adopted Green Port Policy Resolution. It focuses on five guiding principles:

-- protect the local community and environment from harmful port impacts;
-- employ the best available technology to minimize port impacts and explore advance technology solutions;
-- promote sustainability in terminal design, development and operations;
-- distinguish the Port as a leader in environmental stewardship and regulatory compliance;
-- engage and educate the community about Port development and environmental programs.

The EPA's Environmental Awards recognizes individuals and groups outside of the EPA who are working to protect public health and the environment. Awards can be given to scientists, teachers, journalists, citizen activists, young people, organizations, business representatives, public officials, and others committed to protecting public health and preserving our natural surroundings.

For more information on the EPA's Environmental Awards, please visit: