Port of Oakland reduces diesel emissions 76% in 10 years

- The Port of Oakland, a major source of pollution announced just how much just a decade of really reducing pollution, really has benefited everyone. 

Compared to 2005, 2015 ended with an overall 76% decrease in diesel emissions from all sources from ships to port vehicles and everything in between.

These numbers do make us one of the cleanest ports of our size in the country, if not the world," says Richard Sinkoff, the Port's Environmental Manager.

Emissions from locomotives: down 89%. Cargo handling machines: down 82% Ships themselves: down 75%. That's because the Port installed dockside shore power which many, eventually all ships, can plug into and shut down their massive diesel engines.

"This is one of the only places in the world where ships are required to plug into grid power and the reduction of diesel particulates is tremendous when the plug in," says Port Director Chris Lytle.

But the reduction in particulate pollution from trucks, the stuff that really hurts your lungs and harms your health, which is the number one source here at the Port of Oakland, has been nothing short of spectacular.

Because regulators required truckers to upgrade or replace their old smoke bomb rigs, port trucks put out 98% less pollution than a decade ago because they were sickening and killing the neighbors.

"We suffer three times the particulate matter of anywhere else in the Bay Area and black children are two and a half times more likely to visit the ER for asthma than any other Bay Area children," says Lynette Gibson-McIllheny of the Oakland City Council.
But it's getting better and better.

"These are the cleanest trucks used in any port, any place in the country," says Port Director Lytle. It's very good but we still have a ways to go. "My dream, my goal and the next campaign will be, 'how do we get to zero emissions?'" says  Margaret Gordon, a West Oakland resident and activist.

There's good news on that front too. GSC Logistics has one of the port's largest truck fleets. "In fact, GSC Logistics will be testing battery operated trucks in 2017," says Scott Taylor, GSC Logistics CEO. "And really transform the Port and the local community so that we're not relying on fossil fuels," adds Jack Broadbent, Directro of the Bay Area Air Quality Management District.

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