The Port of Los Angeles said today it has been working with the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) to develop an incentive program that encourages participation in the Environmental Ship Index (ESI) Program starting in 2012. The ESI is an international web-based ship-rating system used by ports to promote “clean” ships by rewarding operators whose vessels exceed current environmental performance standards and regulations.
The announcement comes on the fifth anniversary of the Port of LA’s adoption of the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), a landmark pollution reduction initiative whose measures have helped to cut harmful air emissions from port-related sources in the San Pedro Bay by as much as 76 percent. In 2010, the Port reaffirmed its commitment to the CAAP by expanding its programs and setting more aggressive targets with near-term goals through 2014 and long-term objectives through 2023.
“The Port of Los Angeles continues to be a world leader in combating pollution,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “We’ve had five years of extraordinary success with the Clean Air Action Plan and now we’re looking at the next generation of strategies for running the cleanest possible port and improving air quality in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.”
“The Port of Los Angeles is looking forward to being part of these international standards and setting the stage for North American ports to follow suit and reward operators for greening their fleets,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D. and IAPH president. “As participation grows, the benefits increase for carriers and communities.”
The Port of Los Angeles adopted the CAAP to help tackle harmful emissions in the South Coast Air Basin. After launching the CAAP in 2006, the Port has met or exceeded nearly all its goals for reducing air pollution from port-related sources. Ships remain the toughest challenge, as they are regulated by international convention and represent the single largest source of air pollution from port-related operations.
The ESI identifies voluntary engine, fuel and technology enhancements ships can use to exceed current environmental performance standards. The ESI targets primary pollutants, which include nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), and diesel particulate matter (DPM). The program also contains a component to help reduce greenhouse gases. The index was developed by some of the world’s major ports collaborating under the World Ports Climate Initiative, a project of the IAPH.
Nine European ports in the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium and Italy have signed on to participate in the ESI and either have current programs or are in the process of developing programs to offer financial incentives to reward operators whose ships outperform environmental standards.
The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves. As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port supports more than 830,000 regional jobs and $35 billion in annual wages and tax revenues. A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.
Source: Port of Los Angeles