Our approach to air quality—as with other environmental issues—focuses on leadership instead of compliance.

Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy

Adopted in 2008 by the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy established short- and long-term goals to reduce seaport-related air emissions in the region. The strategy marked the first such international cooperative effort in the port community.

Strategy Update

In the Update to the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, the three ports outline 2015 and 2020 goals to further reduce maritime-related diesel emissions from cargo-handling equipment, rail, harbor craft, ocean-going vessels and trucks.

Based on the results of the 2016 Puget Sound Maritime Air Inventory, the goals aim to reduce diesel emissions 75 percent per ton of cargo by 2015 and 80 percent by 2020. Combined with projected cargo growth, this will result in overall reductions of 70 percent by 2015 and 75 percent by 2020.

Clean Truck Program

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a partnership between the ports of Tacoma and Seattle to manage our marine cargo business and facilities, is forming an integrated Clean Truck Program to meet the clean air strategy's goals. Learn more.

2016 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory

Maritime-related air pollution has decreased—as much as 96 percent, depending on the type—since 2005, according to the 2016 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory, an update to the 2005 baseline inventory.

The inventory estimated greenhouse gases, diesel particulate matter and a number of other pollutants related to ships, harbor vessels, cargo-handling equipment, rail, heavy-duty trucks and other fleet vehicles associated with maritime activities. See the results.

On-dock rail

Our four dockside rail yards move cargo efficiently from container terminals and also help reduce the number of trucks on city streets and highways. Each full train that leaves the Port represents 250 to 300 trucks not on our roads, reducing roadway congestion and diesel emissions.

Green Gateway study

The lowest emission route to ship cargo from Asia to the U.S. Midwest is through the Puget Sound, according to the results of the Green Gateway study released in May 2009.

Commissioned by the Port of Seattle, the study analyzed carbon footprints of trade routes between Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and the U.S. distribution hubs of Chicago, Columbus and Memphis.