Regional emissions report shows significant Port of Tacoma-related clean air progress

Air pollution related to Port of Tacoma operations has decreased significantly since 2005, according to a regional report released in March.

The report is the result of the 2016 Puget Sound Maritime Air Emissions Inventory, which provided an update to the 2005 baseline and 2011 inventories.

The inventory estimated greenhouse gases, diesel particulate matter and a number of other pollutants, such as sulfur dioxides and volatile organic compounds. It focused on emissions from ships, harbor vessels, cargo-handling equipment, rail, heavy-duty trucks and other fleet vehicles associated with maritime activities.

Port of Tacoma maritime-related emissions within the airshed 2005-2016

Pollutant

Ocean-going vessels

Commercial harbor vessels

Locomotives

Cargo-handling equipment

Trucks

Overall

Normalized per 10,000 tons of cargo

CO

-47%

-4%

-62%

-11%

NA

-74%

-59%

CO2e

-43%

-20%

-60%

-23%

NA

-51%

-22%

DPM

-92%

-42%

-75%

0%

NA

-86%

-77%

NOx

-54%

-24%

-76%

-22%

NA

-64%

-43%

SO2

-98%

-100%

-100%

0%

NA

-98%

-97%

VOC

-64%

-23%

-75%

-14%

NA

-77%

-64%

In 2015, the ports of Tacoma and Seattle launched The Northwest Seaport Alliance, a partnership to manage their marine cargo facilities and business. The emissions associated with those activities are reported through the NWSA.

Much of the clean air progress is due to more stringent fuel and engine standards and voluntary investments in newer, cleaner-burning equipment and vehicles, shore power for ships and efficiencies that reduce truck and train idling.

The Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy, a ground-breaking initiative of the ports of Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., has helped further reduce emissions in the Puget Sound and Georgia air basins. Mandatory engine and fuel standards have also reduced emissions as older equipment, vehicles and vessels are replaced with newer models and as cleaner fuels are adopted.

Inventory results will help focus future efforts and investments. The ports of Seattle and Tacoma, under their partnership as the NWSA, are updating their Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy goals based on the inventory results.

About the emissions inventory

The 2016, 2011 and 2005 reports were commissioned by members of the Puget Sound Maritime Air Forum, a voluntary association of private and public maritime organizations, ports, air agencies, environmental and public health advocacy groups and other parties with operational or regulatory responsibilities related to the maritime industry. Forum partners selected Starcrest Consulting Group to develop the reports.

The study area covered the U.S. portion of the Puget Sound/Georgia Basin International Airshed, an area about 140 miles long by 160 miles wide.

Find the full report at www.pugetsoundmaritimeairforum.org.

View the Port of Seattleā€™s live feed of the report release on Facebook.