EPA helps Port of Long Beach reduce air pollution

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced a $1.34 million grant to help the Port of Long Beach use cleaner cargo-handling equipment at its container terminals.

The port will use the money to retrofit 11 cranes with filters made to remove harmful particulate matter in the cranes’ diesel exhaust.

The rubber-tired gantry cranes service two piers at the port operated by SSA Terminals. They are used to stack and sort shipping containers and get them ready to be moved on trains, trucks and ships.

The EPA grant also will allow the future Middle Harbor terminal to pay for five tractors to run on electricity instead of diesel fuel.

The total project cost is $3.98 million. The terminal operators are covering $2.64 million of the bill.

Port officials predict the technology will lead to a reduction of 33 tons of particulate matter, 25 tons of nitrogen oxide, which contributes to smog, and 733 tons of carbon dioxide.

“This EPA grant will not only reduce diesel air pollution at the Port of Long Beach, it will help accelerate these projects and allow them to happen faster than they would without the grant,” said Port of Long Beach Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Planning Robert Kanter. “We are also very excited that this grant will help one of our terminals make the change to zero emissions equipment.”

Port officials say the project will help the port meet the goals of its Green Port Policy and the San Pedro Bay Ports Clean Air Action Plan. Under the plan, the Port of Long Beach cut particulate matter from diesel emissions by 75 percent between 2005 and 2011.

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