Customer and tenant environmental initiatives
The Port of Tacoma is proud that our customers and tenants also strive to be good stewards of the Puget Sound environment. They’ve undertaken a number of initiatives to reduce their effect on the environment while contributing valuable jobs and goods to our local economy.
Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE)TOTE received the 2005 Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices, the state’s highest honor for taking care of the environment while doing business in Washington. The award recognizes businesses and others who have found innovative ways to offer services and make products while reducing or eliminating hazardous waste and conserving vital resources such as energy and water.
Sparked by a $1.5 million EPA grant, two TOTE ships now plug into electrical power and shut down diesel engines while docked during weekly calls at their Tacoma terminal. This is the Pacific Northwest's first cargo ship shore power.
TOTE's U.S.-built ships are designed to carry more cargo, use less fuel and provide greater environmental protection than the company's previous vessels. The more efficient diesel-electric motors reduced fuel use by 30 percent. That’s about 5,000 fewer barrels per week.
The ships have an internal fresh water ballast system so they do not have to take on or discharge seawater for ballast. This practice avoids introducing invasive species to local waters.
They also have state-of-the-art sewage treatment plants and use only biodegradable soap, detergents and degreasers on board.
On return trips to Tacoma, TOTE ships carry recyclables for processing, electronic waste for proper disposal and used clothing, all for free. The Alaska recycling organization values the recyclables transport alone at more than $1 million each year.
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EvergreenThe Evergreen Group is shifting its fleet to a new S-Type Green ship. The S-class ships incorporate a double-skinned hull, and all fuel tanks are located within the transverse bulkhead spaces to minimize the risk of oil pollution or fire if a ship grounds or is hit.
Since 2005, Evergreen also has required all diesel-powered equipment at the Port of Tacoma's Pierce County Terminal to use ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel, significantly reducing diesel emissions.
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. ("K" Line)In 2007, “K” Line began requiring all its ships calling at the Port of Tacoma to use low sulfur fuel in auxiliary machinery while the vessels are docked.
Horizon LinesHorizon Lines joined the SmartWay Transport Partnership in 2008 to further fuel efficiency improvements. The SmartWay program is a collaborative effort by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the freight industry to increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
SmartWay aims to achieve fuel savings of up to 150 million barrels of fuel per year. It brings together freight shippers, trucking companies, railroads, logistics companies, and trade and professional associations to pursue mutually beneficial efficiencies that result in emissions reductions and other environmental improvements.
Horizon also has earned the highest fuel efficiency and environmental performance rating from the EPA.
Tacoma RailTacoma Rail has burned ultra-low sulfur diesel since July 2006 in its locomotives used for switching operations. This practice eliminates 99.7 percent of the sulfur oxide emissions from yard switching operations.
Tacoma Rail also matched a $100,000 grant from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, and the Washington Department of Ecology to retrofit four of its locomotives with anti-idling technology that reduces emissions. The anti-idling system protects engines in cold weather, improves air quality, saves fuel and reduces engine noise.
Burlington Northern-Santa Fe (BNSF)Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad is reducing emissions on locomotives by installing idle-control mechanisms on engines, adding auxiliary power units (APU), diesel-driven heating system (DDHS), and automatic start-stop technology. The railroad also is increasing the number of cleaner-burning locomotives.
BNSF also is working with major locomotive manufacturers to develop a hybrid high horsepower locomotive that would capture and reuse the regenerative braking energy for traction.
The railroad performs routine stack opacity tests on locomotives to ensure engines are in good operating condition. The program helps reduce visible emissions and helps improve air quality and locomotive efficiency.
The railroad works to reduce emissions at intermodal yards by: