California Air Resources Board Report Release Expected Today
STATE AIR OFFICIALS NAME BEST PORTS FOR SHIPS TO PLUG-IN TO DOCKSIDE ELECTRICITY
Ports of Oakland and San Francisco are Top Candidates
Office (415) 544-0790, ext. 20
Sacramento, CA – A new study by state air quality officials expected to be released today identified the Ports of Oakland and San Francisco as good sites for container and cruise ships to cut in-port air pollution to near zero by turning off their diesel engines and plugging into dockside electricity. Plugging into the power grid reduces ship smokestack emissions at the dock by more than 90 percent.
The port study, conducted by the California Air Resources Board, is the first statewide look at the feasibility of pier electrification. People who live near ports suffer higher rates of asthma, cancer and premature death, according to the Board. People living near the Port of Oakland have been lobbying for years to slash air pollution at the port. So far, the Port of Oakland has claimed that shoreside power is not feasible and refused to consider it as a way to reduce air pollution from ships.
“This study proves that ships can operate at the dock without poisoning the people who live and work near ports,” said Teri Shore of Bluewater Network – a division of Friends of the Earth. “We think it should spark a new era of clean shipping in California and beyond.”
Port of San Francisco found that shoreside power at a future cruise terminal at Piers 30-32 would be technically feasible, but so far neither the developer or the cruise industry has committed funds to install it. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach were deemed prime locations for expanding existing shoreside power installations to more cruise, container and refrigerator ship terminals.
Air officials say that the study’s findings support the agency’s recent proposal that by 2020, 80 percent of ships calling on California ports should hook up to shoreside power. The conclusions for each port were based on ship type, number of port calls, capital costs and electricity rates to determine the feasibility of shoreside power.
The Air Resources Board commissioned the study because of the growing air pollution from ships in California, caused by the projected doubling of shipping containers through state ports by 2020 andescalating cruise ship traffic. Due to inadequate regulation, ship engines and fuels are far dirtier than those from diesel trucks and buses.
A 30-day public comment period on the report begins with its release today. People can let the Air Pollution Board know their opinions on the report this report by going to the ARB website, arb.ca.gov.